Monday, September 03, 2007

It's Giving Life That Counts

I recently watched the original Yours, Mine, and Ours (haven't seen the new version, it just didn't appeal to me.) It's always interesting to watch older movies, especially because I find I'm often pleasantly shocked by the blatant messages of morality in them. I laughed so hard when I watched the original Cheaper by the Dozen, and the local Planned Parenthood woman was scandalized by the fact that this obviously intelligent and well respected woman dared to have twelve children, lol, and then had the door slammed behind her as she left, disgusted.

I admit that there were a few things in Yours, Mine, and Ours that kind of grated on me a bit at first, some slight passes at having lots of kids. But, I think one part beyond made up for those little passes. I found it so sweet, that I just had to copy it word for word!

The scene is near the end, Helen (Lucille Ball) is expecting their first child together, their 19th child combined. In the midst of labor pains and attempting to get her to the car to head to the hospital, one of her oldest daughters is having a boyfriend crisis of sorts. The daughter's shaggy-haired boyfriend, Larry, wants to have sex, and she's asking her step father, Frank (Henry Fonda) if she's being old fashioned or a prude for saying no to him, like he claims she is. The response given while he's supporting his wife down the stairs as she's in labor with their first child together, with 18 children running around them and all kind of chaos surrounding them was just beautiful, and about as pro-life as you can get.

Frank: "I've got a message for Larry, you tell him this is what it's all about. This is the real happening. If you want to know what love really is, take a look around ya."

Helen: "What are you two talking about?"

Frank: "Take a good look at your mother."

Helen: "Not now!"

Frank: "Yes, now! It's giving life that counts. Until you're ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won't keep it turning. Life isn't the loving, it's the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and ground round instead of roast beef. And I'll tell you something else, it's not going to bed with a man that proves you're in love with him, it's getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful, everyday world with him that counts."

They head outside, Frank still supporting his laboring wife, they're both shouting goodbyes to the younger kids, telling them to get back in bed, and he continues talking to Helen's daughter.

Frank: "I suppose having 19 kids is carrying it a bit too far, but if we had it to do over, who would we skip, you?"

Such a simple message...each life is precious, and it's giving life that counts. Can you imagine hearing such a thing in a movie made today? It would be utterly shocking. It seems at this point, people hadn't quite yet forgotton that sex and love and babies go together, though they were beginning to. Frank summed it up nicely, trying to separate those things "is just a big fraud."


jdavidb said...

Our twins, #'s 3 and 4, were born early in the morning Sunday before last. We made our first trip to the outside world as a complete family of six today. We're looking forward to getting some of those contents about having lots of kids. :)

When we went out with just the twins the other day, we were celebrities. Today I think we heard some woman's daughter saying, "Look at that!" and the woman telling her daughter that was a lot of babies.

I guess the real fun comes when we get #5 some day, Lord willing, and we start hearing, "Why didn't you stop?"

jdavidb said...

er, comments, not contents...

erik said...

Personally, I don't like children at all, and I receive a lot of flack about that.

But, if you want to have 19 little French-Texan children Stephanie, go right on ahead!

The more the merrier :)

Stephanie said...

CONGRATS Jdavidb!!! That's wonderful! :-)

Lol, I hear ya about the comments...on the NFP board I frequent (where we have families with no kids all the way up to families with...I think 13 or 14 is the largest), there are often whole threads of comments people have gotten and, even more fun, the responses they've given, lol.

Good luck with your newest little ones!

Stephanie said...

I think a lot of people that "don't like children" always end up falling madly in love with their own. ;-) Your own children are just...different than everyone else'e children!

And of course I'm not advocating that everyone have 19 kids, lol. Just that we not separate the marital embrace from its proper order and purpose (which is two fold, unity and procreation.) When we pull out the pleasurable part of it and try to shut down the rest, we end up with a lot of empty selfishness where there should be self-giving, and an oversexed society that is emotionally and spiritually vapid. It's a sad thing indeed.

Anyway, we'd be very happy to have lots of little French-Texans running around, lol. Unfortunately, it seems God has other plans for us right now. But I'm still hopeful that we will one day. :-)

Kasia said...

My favorite response I've heard (so far) is from a fellow parishioner. She and her husband teach NFP and are expecting their fifth in a few months. Apparently a man found out how many kids she had and said, teasingly, "You know they know what causes that now?"

She replied "Yes! A VERY - happy - marriage."

He looked at her, a little perplexed, said "Y-yeah, I suppose so..." and walked away.

Studying Catholicism said...

I really like that scene! It does sum it up very well. THanks for sharing that Steph!

Stephanie said...

Definitely a good response, Kasia!

No prob, Aimee :-)

one lucky woman said...

This was a great movie- I saw it for the first time a couple of months ago! And that was an awesome scene, I think I remember getting a little misty-eyed when the dad was saying those things. It was beautiful. :-)

one lucky woman said...

This was a great movie- I saw it for the first time a couple of months ago! And that was an awesome scene, I think I remember getting a little misty-eyed when the dad was saying those things. It was beautiful. :-)