I have a confession to make. After years of resisting the lure of both vampires and werewolves, I have become a "Twilight Mom."
It all started one day at the . I was standing around The Sony Homework Station while my 3-year-old played Dora the Explorer on one of the computers. From where I stood, I could see the Young Adult section and a shelf of familiar black spines. On several previous occasions - hoping to see what all the fuss was about - I’d picked up Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and never got past the first few pages. Maybe it was the cool weather, maybe it was boredom but this time, once I got started, I couldn’t stop. In little over a month I devoured all four books and caught Breaking Dawn, Part 1 on Thanksgiving weekend at the Culver Pacific.
Why, you may ask?
For some moms well into adulthood and adult relationships The Twilight Saga may recapture the intensity of adolescent first love. For others there may be the irresistible appeal of a man who’s old enough (109) to know how to treat a woman but who has (and will always have) the physique of a high school senior. Then of course there are the torsos. But for this mom, there’s something more.
Raised in the 70s, I’d been an original Star Wars fan, but the mythology of those movies always fell short when speaking to me as a woman. They worked fine in the context of my life as a striver, a conqueror and a masculinized hero. But when my path veered from the pursuit of worldly power to the path of motherhood and nurturing, it seemed like my life had fallen off heroism’s map.
To me, The Twilight Saga suggests that it can be heroic to love and even more so to bear children. In this uniquely feminine mythology there is no Death Star to blow up and no evil father to slay. Instead, there is a love that must transcend common sense; a trust in one’s children that must confound expectations and a personal power that can only be activated by embracing one’s flaws.
Despite my feminist upbringing and my love of Star Wars, becoming a mother has shown me that a woman’s heroism is more often than not distinct from a man’s. Twilight seems to suggest that in the privacy of her own life a woman’s love can be enough to save her world.
So here’s to the other Twilight Moms out there, each one a hero in her own family. Her greatest efforts may be largely invisible, but her love may be the Force that makes the world go round.*