This past week was the release of the new Disney movie The Odd Life of Timothy Green. I haven't seen it yet, but I've read about it in recent weeks, taking in the views of various infertility and adoption bloggers - most of whom don't seem pleased at the idea of watching a movie that contains fanciful ideas about either topic.
I'm going to be honest: I would like to see it. Believe me, I'm usually the first person in line to advocate for the realistic portrayal of infertility in the media/arts, yet I'm not bothered by the idea of this magical child growing in the backyard overnight.
For starters, let's be honest: it's Disney. Nothing they do is realistic, save for the way they showed infertility in the movie Up. In my opinion, it's unreasonable to be upset or offended by a movie made by a company whose greatest success is a talking mouse. With Disney, you know what you are going to get. Magical. Over-the-top. Oh, a boy grows in the ground from wishes? Makes perfect sense! I wouldn't expect this to be a serious account of a couple going through infertility treatments. In fact, I would expect for them to become "magically" pregnant at the end of the movie (though I'm fairly certain that doesn't happen, but I won't spoil it by recounting what I've read).
Mostly, though, I want to see it because I find myself relating to the parents of Timothy Green. I know what it's like to sit in front of a doctor and be told that you may never be a parent, but I also know what it's like to dream. To wish so hard for something that you can't have. To beg for a miracle. And then? To have that miracle happen. Of course, Miss K didn't grow from the ground. But she did arrive when we least expected it. It WAS magical. It can be magical for many people.
I watch the previews, and I remember a time when Joey and I would curl up on the couch and make plans for our future child. We would talk about what he or she would look like, what they might do when they grew up. We all are guilty of it - those fantasies that feel so good in the moment and then rip our hearts to pieces when they are done. In my opinion, this movie is nothing different. I understand why it might be too painful for some to watch, or too difficult to explain to children. However, I don't quite understand the call for it to be more realistic.
So, I will see it. And yes, there are probably stereotypes in the movie that will make me roll my eyes and parts that will make me reach for the Kleenex. But I won't get angry at the fantasy. Because hoping for a miracle is what all of us do - whether it's that positive on an off cycle, a phone call from your agency on a Saturday morning, or a kid growing overnight in your backyard. Becoming a parent as an infertile does take a little bit of magic.