Monday, August 20, 2012

the odd life of infertility

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.


The Indecisive Infertile said...

I totally agree with you 100% I can't wait to see this movie. I don't want to watch the realities of IF, I live those every single day. I think if people actually look at the symbolism in this movie they will realize it is actually not that far off.
Timothy grew from soil, often the uterus is called the soil, Timothy has roots, not of his parents but of the Earth, we are all from Mother Earth.

I will be viewing this movie as a beautiful adoption story, as Mother Earth as the biological Mom.

There is enough sadness and bitterness in IF reality, ever so often it is nice to escape to the land of Hope and fantasy.

Glass Case of Emotion said...

I agree with you 100%. They aren't portraying this as anything but fantasy... so it's okay with me. If they acted like this was a way to solve IF, then I might feel otherwise. As long as they make the characters people you can empathize with, I am cool with it.

AnotherDreamer said...

I'm looking forward to seeing it too. I'm curious for how they handle it, and I know some people seem to be a bit upset over it but to me it's just another fairy tale. So many fairy tales center on an infertile couple, where they wish for a child and get one and something happens from there. So yes, I'm okay with a child "just magically appearing" and how it may be simplified- it's a story, aimed at children in a way, a jaunt in the imagination. It's not meant to be mistaken for real life. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm definitely interested in it.

Rach said...

At first I didnt have any interest in the movie. But after reading your post, I think I might go see it!

Sushigirl said...

I'll probably get it on pay per view. Although something about the premise makes me squirm!

Secret Sloper said...

I'm also intrigued by this movie! I thought Jennifer Garner was the best thing about Juno, and I'm sure she'll do well with this role, too.

You are so right-- parenting after infertility does require magic and so often feel magical. There's no reason why one cycle works and not another, why the call comes one week and not the week before. So I can definitely understand a movie trying to capture a little of that magic.

Tammy said...

Such a beautiful post. I had no idea that's what the movie is about, and I really want to see it now. Obviously, I'll be waiting for DVD. :) Hope you guys and your cutie are doing great!

Logical Libby said...

I don't know if I'll see it. Not because I don't like the dream aspect, but because I really fear they end up childless in the end. That would kill me.

Kelli said...

so, what did you think? I too was very interested in seeing it and Hubby and I went opening night and I went again the next night with my sister. I loved it for many reasons.