Sunday, February 14, 2010


1 a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties
(2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers
(3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests

Last night I was thrilled to find Roman Holiday playing on TV. It's my favorite movie of all time and to happen upon in on the eve of Valentine's Day was a gift. Even better was the fact that B and K sat and watched it with me. I've seen this movie several times, yet it never fails to make me cry. B and K were fascinated by the movie. Surprisingly, neither one asked about why the movie was in black and white, but they did pepper me with questions about the subtleties you find in old movies that are completely lacking today. B kept waiting for Gregory Peck's character to fall in love with Audrey Hepburn (because don't we all fall in love with her the moment we see her?).

If you haven't seen the movie, see it. But here's a quick plot summary: Hepburn plays a princess who is overworked and overwrought by the demands placed on her as she tours European cities. On her first night in Rome, her governess gives her a sleeping pill. The medicated princess sneaks out of her quarters and is rescued by Peck, an American reporter. Peck recognizes the princess and decides to try to get a story out of it: he talks her into spending a day doing everything she's always wanted to do. Over the course of their time together, they fall in love. But this is not a modern movie. They don't ride off into the sunset together. Duty calls and the princess returns to her life, one where an American reporter can't go.

The ending of the movie prompted the most questions. After stealing a public moment with the man she now knows is a reporter, the princess exits with her entourage. Peck stands at the rope separating the press from royalty until he is the only one left. At this point, K said, "Why can't he go see her?" I explained that he can't see her again now that she's gone back to being a princess. B said, "Well, can't he marry her?" "No, he's not royalty. They can't get married," I replied, sniffling. "Well, someone has to do it eventually. They should just get married," B said with conviction.

I love this about my middle daughter: she believes a rule does not have to be obeyed simply because it exists. I firmly believe this will serve her well later in life. I think she will probably live to break some rules that need to be broken. But I'm not sure choosing the duty of fulfilling your obligations to your family and country is a rule that should be broken, even for love.

We talk, especially on a day like today, about love conquering all. But there are many types of love and I don't want my daughters to believe that romantic love is the only love worth having, the only love worth serving, the only love worth protecting. I want them to be able to make the hard choices in life with confidence. As I watched Roman Holiday with them last night, I was grateful that my daughters will not be faced with the choice Hepburn's princess faced.

But I don't want to kid myself. They will make choices about whether to follow love and what love to follow. They may have to choose between career and family, not once, but several times. They may have to choose between living in a city they love and living where their husband's job sends them. They may have to choose between seeing J and I regularly and being with the love of their life.

So I pray that all of my daughters will have the strength to make the right choices about love and about life. I pray they will break the rules that need to be broken and choose to obey the rules that should guide their lives - and I pray they will have the wisdom to distinguish between the two, as did a fictional princess played by Audrey Hepburn.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We are the same, you and I! Too bad we don't live closer to have coffee together sometime!
I can't wait to have some of these discussions with Queenie and LIttle N some day. It must be amazing to see how they react, hear what they think and then know what to pray about for them!