Last night, after the Oscars, my husband and I searched our cable On Demand for a movie we would both sit through, and settled on HBO's Temple Grandin. A true story, it stars Claire Danes as the autistic woman Temple Grandin, and shows how she made her way through college and earned a masters in science, and became an innovator in the cattle industry.
She shows an inspiring journey and challenge, but what grabbed me most was Temple's mom. Played by Julia Ormond, she had me choking back tears many times, imagining what it would be like to have a doctor tell you that her problems are because you didn't love her enough. I love Ormond's restrained but angry response to the doctor saying he'd better explain it to her husband: "My husband is a busy man, and I graduated from Harvard, so why don't you try me."
But the part that made me weep was when Temple is explaining her success to other parents of autistic children, and talks about how her mother never gave up on her, and drilled into her the behavior she needed to learn . . . I can't even type it without a lump growing in my throat again. As much as moms worry and struggle to figure out what our kids need from us, and the dark moments when we fear we are failing them . . . I can only pray that I have such a moment someday as Temple Grandin's mom.