“Why don’t you leave? Why don’t you leave him?”
“Because if I leave, I will avoid all this violence, psychological or physical. But he will need someone to vent to, and he will do it on you my son. Because if I leave, there will be no one to tell you every day that his is not the only possible way to treat others. There is respect, there is openness to dialogue, there is tolerance, there is forgiveness, there is admiration… There are many, many other beautiful and non-violent things. There is not only overpowering.”
“Why do you let yourself be treated like this, don’t you have an ounce of dignity?”
“I do have dignity my son, but this is not the time to bring it out. I could risk fomenting hatred, which would end up affecting you and others. Many out there see my dignity, ask them. Ask them if you want confirmation of your mother’s abilities, her worth. Don’t look for it here. My dignity is elsewhere.”
“Why did you only come now to get me? Why do my friends do football and I don’t? Why do you always have to work?”
“Why are you only now coming to get me? Why do my friends do football and I don’t? Why do you always have to work?”
“Because we live in a country where one salary is not enough, unless it is a millionaire. Because I would like to offer you a better life than mine, I would like to save something so that in the future you can live your adult life more comfortably than it was for me. And because it is only fair that I too can express myself, can contribute and can grow. I came late, because I work. Even though I don’t always like the work I do, it’s hard and it’s not always easy to deal with colleagues, I do it to improve myself and then to find another job that allows me to have more time for you.”
“Why can’t you understand me? Why don’t you want me to go dancing with my friends? Why do all my friends have mobile phones and I don’t?”
“No, I understand you. I can see very well that all this seems a great injustice to you, perhaps the greatest wrong you have ever suffered. I know you see me as the evil ogre now, I know you envy the mothers to your friends/friends, I know you would like to wake up in another family. But there are things you still don’t understand. Everything I do, the prohibitions I impose on you, are aimed at the greater good. To spare you greater pain, to keep you safe from danger. You will understand, it will be late perhaps. In the meantime you will hate me as never before. But I am your mother and I know that deep down you know it too. You just have to let go of the anger that now prevents you from seeing.”
A mother is no longer her own person, a mother cannot decide for her alone. In the decisions a mother must make, the children, their well-being, their future come first. Even when the risk is high, even when the sacrifices are many and even when her dignity takes second place. And mothers rarely make their choices explicit to their children. When they do, they are often not understood, at least not immediately. They are accused of weakness, of deliberate and unmotivated meanness. Mothers are often misunderstood, on all fronts.
All this, and much more, is narrated very well in the film ‘C’è ancora domani’ by Paola Cortellesi. It knows how to touch on topical and thorny issues with exceptional tragicomic alternation. It clearly shows what it means to be a mother projected towards her children, a mother who thinks about their future by doing her part to change the status quo. Go and see it if you haven’t. Don’t be told about it. Enjoy it!
Could I not have chosen this piece to accompany the above?
By Cinzia Costi