Guilt for Mother’s Day


Sweet Pea, untroubled by her burn

I celebrated the tail end of Mother’s Day most appropriately: berating myself while squirming under the weight of extreme guilt. Why, do you ask?

Sweet Pea got a sunburn.

Maternal neglect. Inadequacy. Failure. Holy Cats, Awful Mommy–she’s not even two years old! I became immediately convinced of my daughter’s imminent (or at least definite future) bouts with skin cancer. And this mélange of icky feelings overwhelmed me in a nanosecond as I beheld her little pink elbows and upper thighs.

Such was the result of our camping trip to the aptly named Sun Lakes Resort. For the record: we spent all weekend dutifully slathering Sweet Pea with sunscreen multiple times a day–sunscreen, I might add, that I chose after extensive study of the Environmental Working Group’s website. She had a sun hat, too. But I guess such measures were no match for aggressive UV rays and a toddler on the move.


Do I secretly want to bundle my daughter away, protecting her from any experience that might harm or threaten her? Not exactly. This desire, on my part, is anything but secret. I guess I have to come to terms with the fact that hurt will find my daughter. My best efforts to safeguard her will fail. It’s inevitable. And it’s probably better than wrapping her in cotton and keeping her from life experiences. My lasting impression of this weekend might be a sunburn, but Sweet Pea also got tons of time sand castle building and lake-wading with her cousins.

In the end, I have to believe that’s worth it.

And so, we move on. Well, I move on while shouldering a monster-sized boulder of guilt. I don’t plan on letting go of that Mother’s Day gift any time soon.

“Modern” Anne Reboot?

carrotsSo, yeah. My fellow Anne fans out there may already know that L.M. Montgomery’s heirs are looking to bring Anne back to the small screen… but it will be a revamped version “set in a more modern era.”

Has anyone heard any updates on this? According to this 2012 article, filming was set to start this summer.

Hmm. My initial reaction was, of course, to recoil in horror at the very thought. I would probably feel this way over any potential reboot. I am a child of the 80s, after all. For me, Megan Follows was Anne. (And need we discuss my immediate and everlasting love of Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert? I think not. That could be a whole post in and of itself.)

To clarify: when I speak of the Sullivan Entertainment version of Anne, I speak of the first two installments. Purists will remind me that a third installment was made in 2000. I choose to ignore that The Continuing Story ever existed. It messed with the timeline! Gilbert involved in World War I? Oh, please. So you can imagine my feelings about an Anne set in contemporary times. Shudder.

One of my favorite parts of the series was the fact that Anne was such a ground-breaker for her time! I looked up to Anne; I thought it was so cool that she went to college (which certainly wasn’t expected in her day). Anne of the Island remains my favorite book in the series, in fact (followed closely by Anne’s House of Dreams, now that I’m a wife and mother). Removing Anne from her era seems to… I don’t know. Taint the story? Smack of condescension for young adult readers/viewers? (We couldn’t possibly be interested in Anne Shirley unless she looks and sounds just like us!)

But then I read some of the comments on this post and it occurs to me that I’ve loved modern versions of older stories. I’m a huge fan of the BBC Sherlock, which reimagines Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories in 21st century London. I thought 10 Things I Hate About You was delightful… and this coming from a huge Shrew fan.

Perhaps the difference is that, much as I enjoy Shakespeare and Sherlock, they weren’t my childhood reading material. There’s something truly precious about those first novels you read and love. Witness my similar devotion to the Narnia series, and my reaction to the recent movies (I only saw one, have scrubbed it from my brain, and choose to ignore that others were made).

So… yeah. Mixed feelings. What are your thoughts?