Thanks to an unforeseen coincidence on my Netflix queue (although I guess I could’ve foreseen it if I actually saw my Netflix queue occasionally) the past few weeks have been a kind of mini-Laura Linney fest in my house. First, with the HBO mini-series John Adams, then indie faves The Savages and You Can Count on Me.
I just watched You Can Count on Me yesterday and I have to remark here and now that Laura Linney is one of the most fantastic actors working today. The scene in the beginning of the movie where her overbearing manager, played by Matthew Broderick, tells her that she needs to stop missing fifteen minutes of work in the afternoon to pick her eight year old son up at the bus stop every day and “find other arrangements”… I don’t know if it’s because my sister is a single mom or really just speaks to the volumes of restrained anger, frustration and vulnerability that Linney is capable of holding right under the surface. All I know is that I never thought I would want to punch Ferris Bueller right in the face.
The scene, the whole movie actually, was so good that it occurred to me, once more, how impossibly hard it is for the single parent. Not just for the day-to-day business that they face alone but for that unspoken burden they carry- the burden to always be more, more, more, to be both parents and all parents, to strive so They never feel like they’re less than whole or that things would be better only if.
Let’s send our mothers flowers today. It isn’t Mother’s Day, true, but won’t it mean so much more?