Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Blast from the past

*Warning - spoilers!*

Things you don't even remember happening can come back and bite you on the bum.

I was reminded of this by a post by Jenn at Insert Bad Movie Title Here. I've blogged before about dramatic story lines and those that use pregnancy as dramatic device. I have of course become increasingly aware of adoption story lines but it's still the miscarriage/infant loss story lines that affect me most.

I've been participating in an online book group with a particularly unfortunate series of choices - January's was Sister, which involves prenatal diagnosis of serious illness and (we think) the murder of a pregnant woman. March was Behind the Scenes at the Museum in which several children die, including the protagonist's twin, and there is an additional plot line of "just don't tell the children, they'll forget". April had this plotline too, and a very traumatic birth plus an infertile/recurrent miscarrying bitter twisted stepmother (of course, only infertile women are bitter and twisted, and they all are bitter and twisted), in The Hand that First Held Mine.

Mr Spouse keeps asking me why I read or watch this stuff. I actually don't know why - perhaps once I've started I feel obligated to finish (though I used to read some of the child-abuse-lit e.g. A Child Called It, but I no longer read that nor would feel obligated to finish a book with that theme. People have been raving about Room but there's no way I'm touching that).

Perhaps I like a good cry. Perhaps I like a good rant - at the moment, that's what I get from a lot of the adoption story lines. The US ones are full of legal impossibilities or poor legal practice. The UK ones are full of people who decide one day to adopt and the next are going to approval panel and the following day have a gorgeous, well-behaved toddler ("but she's not my own flesh and blood!") in the house.

Anyway, before all this nastiness happened, there was Only Fools and Horses. Then the creator of the show did a bunch of other stuff, some more dodgy than others, (and some of it overlapped and was my teenage viewing) and then he died recently and there was a retrospective - and it slapped me in the face with the miscarriage of two of the characters. Clearly it meant absolutely nothing to me at the time so I had blanked it.

I even find this in some children's books I'm re-reading - there is a story line involving children being sent away, or children dying and no-one talking about it ever again (The Dark is Rising), and how did I not remember that?

I guess you just can never be the same again.

1 comment:

Kylie said...

A month or two behind on this- I have recently started re-reading a favourite series (the vorkosigan books) by Lois McMaster Bujold, and have been surprised by the multiple levels of parenting linkage, particularily in that there is a rather dramatic poisoning incident in the early books that results in emergency c -section and being placed in an artificial womb (sci-fi books) but there is a lot of what it means to be a parent thinking in them. I don't think I am going to be able to finish off the series for a while for that reason.