All my mamas who are a product of the 80’s and 90’s raise their hands?
Home Alone is a CLASSIC, and one that has already been on replay in our house multiple times this holiday season, and it’s barely December. I LOVE this movie and it brings me all the nostalgic childhood feels. As a kid, Kevin’s life in Home Alone was the dream: popcorn in bed, ice cream for breakfast and non stop FREEDOM. Cha-CHING!
Watching the movie as a mom now though, I’m HYPER-aware of what this movie means for Kevin’s mom. Aside from the fact that PG back in the 90’s clearly meant something different than it does now (as displayed by my 4 year old running around with cute phrases in her vocabulary now like “Where you going you little creep?” and “Look what you did, you little jerk”), this movie really brings home a few solid nuggets about motherhood that I felt were worthwhile to share with you!
What ‘Home Alone’ Teaches Us About Motherhood
1. We’re Stronger Than We Think
Kevin is clearly “babied” – his mom is going to pack his luggage, he seems to be overlooked by most everyone around him, and is virtually powerless within his family. But once on his own, he surprises even himself with the amount of courage, bravery, and general street smarts that he whips out of nowhere. He grocery shops, sets elaborate booby traps, and has the foresight to even scour his brother’s room (normally off-limits territory).
When pressed, it is amazing what type of courage and strength can come out of us. All that we are teaching these kids, even when it seems like it’s not sinking in, rest assured, IT IS. They are watching your every move, your every adjustment of life. Even though it feels like you are beating your head against a brick wall teaching them pleases and thank yous, kindness and respect, courage and strength, THEY ARE GETTING IT. You preach kindness and generosity, you show them humility and forgiveness and just when you think it’s all in vain, your kid comes through in their moment of need. You are doing better than you think mama (it should be noted for the record that although good may come of it, I do not recommend leaving your kid home alone on an overseas vacation, AT THE HOLIDAYS, to test if this is true for your kid or not).
2. Our Neighbors Should Be Our People
Okay this struck me right away.
Kevin and his brother & cousin make up a whole long urban legend about the scary shovel old guy neighbor. Do you remember him?? The whites of my kids’ eyes during this part every time are HUGE. It’s not until the end that Kevin takes the opportunity to understand his neighbor’s story a little more. Immediately the fear dissipates and the neighbor becomes a helping hand in his time of need.
In the land of suburbia, so often we are tempted to drive in to our garage and immediately shut the door without ever walking across the street. It seems as though gone are the days of asking your neighbor for a cup of sugar or a few eggs; instead we just order Amazon PrimeNOW and buy it ourselves. Our neighbors are the closest in proximity to you on a daily basis, yet they probably know you the least.
Do you know your neighbors? What would your neighbors say about you?
Would they be super surprised to hear that you are someone who has a strong faith? Would they be super surprised to find out that you are a generous person? Our lives are meant to be shared, and not just with the people we CHOOSE, but also the people closest to us – like actually physically closest to us.
To love your neighbor means to know their story.
To walk across the street and engage in ordinary tasks and conversations with them that one would naturally share. When we take the time to know our actual neighbor, you get the opportunity to engage with people who might be a little different than you. And when that happens, empathy grows, compassion grows and ultimately to feel known translates to be cared for.
Getting to know your neighbor though, almost always starts with you. You must be the one to go first!
If your answer to whether you would offer a cup of sugar, or take care of their fish while they are out of town, or see to collecting their mail is YES, then maybe you need to be the one to start by ASKING THEM FIRST. People will not ask you for a favor if you haven’t gone first. It requires serious vulnerability to ask for help from someone else, so if you want to give that response to people, I challenge you to open up that line of communication and friendship by asking them first. That will cue them in to the fact that oh, okay, we’re those kind of neighbors – we actually help each other out. I promise it will start to transform your relationship with your neighbors…in a good way.
3. At Least You Haven’t Forgotten Your Kid (while on vacation)
I mean, I feel like I can just leave this one right here. On your worst days, you can simply remind yourself at least you haven’t hopped on a plane to France without your kid. 😉
4. Family Is Everything
I definitely have my days where I am ready to sell any one (or maybe ALL) of my kids to the lowest bidder. They’re at my ankles, making messes everywhere, and I literally will poke my eyes out if I hear one more decibel of whining.
BUT, at the end of the day: they are my everything.
Even after Kevin’s wish of his family disappearing comes true, he ultimately comes to the same conclusion. These are your people. No, our families are not perfect. We piss each other off, we hurt one another, we know how to push all of the buttons that exist, but these are the ones that God has given to you. For better or worse, this is your blood.
The grass is not greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it.
Mamas, I know we want to run around some days – trust me, I’m right there with you (oftentimes, running away literally right next to you), but truly our families are everything.
This job that we are doing mamas, is NOT for the faint of heart, but it is ultimately worth it.
The stress, the discipline, the threatening to take back ALL of the Christmas presents at least once a day, the blessIT elf that wakes us in a panic attack every morning because he forgot to move AGAIN – all of it is worth it, especially this time of year.
We are building foundational truths of love, acceptance, invitation, and steadfastness into our kids. We MUST stay the course. This work is too important. You may not know it, but when you hug them, show up for them, cuddle with them, say yes to playing and watching another round of movies – it all is writing these truths into their little hearts.
So next time Home Alone comes on, take a minute and give yourself some credit. And in the same vein, don’t feel one tinge of guilt turning Home Alone on again for the 100th time this Christmas season.
Merry Christmas ya filthy animal.
4 Lessons ‘Home Alone’
Teaches Us About Modern Motherhood