Friday, October 9, 2009

War Movie Mama

Because of leg issues, I have watched more than my usual share of movies in the past few weeks. I'm a girl. I enjoy the run of the mill romantic comedy. I can't see Sleepless in Seattle too many times. But sometimes I humor the hubby and watch a typical guy movie. Lots of action, killing, shooting, redeeming the innocents kind of thing. The one we watched last week was "Troy".

Now I have to say, I don't really mind watching Brad Pitt for three hours straight. Not a lot of torture there. And I understand it is a war movie. War, meaning a lot of guys run in and get killed by other guys. There were no guns in this movie. Just a lot of hand to hand combat and some well placed arrows.

But I have to tell you what goes through my mind when I see those fight scenes. The blood doesn't bother me. Even the gross special effects I can accept for what they contribute to the story. But it makes me think of all the wars, though the ages, and all the guys who went off to war.

From Iraq today, which is the most personal to us, to the times of Troy, men have gone off to war and not come home. But as a mom I cannot see them as just soldiers, trained and killed for a greater cause.

I see them as little boys. Each and every one of them. Some mama's little boy. A child she gave birth to, maybe on the dirt floor of her small hut. A child she had hopes and dreams for.

She caught him as he took first steps, not thinking that those same legs might run into a life ending battle in a few short years. She wiped his nose when he was sick, doing all she could to preserve his health and his life, not knowing all her efforts would be snuffed out with one swift swing of a sword.

She made him meal after meal, three times a day, to give his body fuel to survive. She watched him grow from a skinny teen into a muscular young man. And maybe she let herself dream about the grandbabies he might carry home to her some day, on those strapping grown up man shoulders.

I'm not making any statements about wars, in this decade or any other. I'm just saying I can't watch a war movie where dozens of men, dozens of faceless figures, are so quickly and effortlessly obliterated, without thinking of their mothers. Dozens of women who would later get the news that their mothering duties were no longer needed.

Each soldier couldn't be Achilles. There were many guys who were just soldiers. Just one of a thousand, wrapped in armor, standing in tight, neat lines. But each one mattered to his mama. And it's all I can think about when I watch war movies.

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