Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Defending Angelina

Angelina Jolie, bless her heart (which my friend Jon correctly figured out is a disclaimer that allows you to say anything bad about someone, such as “She doesn’t have the sense God gave a rock, bless her heart) needs to be careful what she says. Recently, she told UK Elle this:

"I think I feel so much more for Madd and Zee because they're survivors, they came through so much. Shiloh seemed so privileged from the moment she was born. I have less inclination to feel for her...I met my other kids when they were 6 months old, they came with a personality. A newborn really is this...Yes, a blob! But now she's starting to have a personality...I'm conscious that I have to make sure I don't ignore her needs, just because I think the others are more vulnerable."

As you can probably imagine, people have a lot to say about it, most of it pretty negative. Lotta from Mom-O-Matic (who is awesome and funny and I have nothing but respect for) says this:

“Mostly, I don't like that her children are being assigned status within the family. Love is love, is love, is love.”

I get where she’s coming from, and I can understand why people are up in arms about this statement. But the thing is this:

Angelina Jolie, I get you.

Angelina Jolie has three kids. One of them is gorgeous, white, and American and was born to ridiculously wealthy parents. The other two she saved from orphanages in third world countries. When your own tiny baby is born, it’s obvious that said tiny baby really needs you. But you might feel even more need when you see a baby in Africa or Cambodia who needs you. Maddox and Zahara needed her in totally different ways than Shiloh does.

It’s not like she doesn’t love Shiloh, it’s just that she loves her differently from her other kids. I think the same would be the case if you had two kids, one who had a disability and the other who didn’t. Obviously, you’d love them both. But you’d feel like the kid with the disability needed you more, or at least in different, clearer ways. You would have to make an effort to give the kid without a disability as much love and attention, since his needs would seem less immediate.

And the other thing? A newborn baby kind of is a blob. For the first several months, you’re not getting much out of that kid other than dirty diapers and crying. No smiles, no laughing, to say nothing of the joy that is a Flying Tackle hug while yelling, “Mama!” You do spend lots of time marveling over the tiny fingers and toes, and just staring at this amazing creature who is now yours. That’s wonderful. But there really is something special about the time when they’re able to give something back to you.

I’m sure it will come as a great comfort to Angelina Jolie that I am on her side. Give me a call, Ange, and we’ll go out and be sexy together while Brad and Steve stay home with the kids.


K said...

Newborn babies are beautiful, but they kinda are blobs. And why is that a sin to say out loud?

heidi said...

I agree- I applaud Her Sexiness for bravely speaking forthrightly about new mommyhood. I'm sure it is quite different to have a newborn after her adptions. Just like every kid is different. I'm sure my mother made similar comments about my high needs hyperactive brother in comparison to quiet bookworm me. It seems like Ange & the Brad are great parents, at least as they come across via the media.

The whole "bless her heart" thing- crackin' me up. We LOVE that in WV. "Bless her heart, she's the insert-insult-here-est woman I've ever met."

Betsy Wasser said...

Heidi, amusingly enough my friend Jon is also from West Virginia. That must be where he gets it from!