I should get ad revenues from all these books and movies I write about – I mean seriously! But I watched The Way, Way Back yesterday and it really had me reeling. The central character is this adolescent boy named Duncan. Duncan’s parents are divorced and he and his mom are going to spend the summer at the mom’s boyfriend’s beach house. The boyfriend (played by Steve Carrell) is a real douche bag. The movie makes no bones about that from the opening scene of the movie in which the boyfriend asks Duncan to rate himself on a scale of 1 to 10. Duncan refuses at first but eventually gives himself a six. The boyfriend tells Duncan that he’s a three because he has no friends and all he wants to do is hang out with his mom.The movie continues to follow the relationship between the mom and the boyfriend who continues to prove himself to be a dbag but also you become aware of the mom’s quiet desperation and her willingness to tolerate his dbagness because of her own fears of being alone …having been recently divorced by her cheating husband and all. In scene after scene you see the mom betraying herself in order to make the boyfriend happy. She sacrifices her values over and over again in an effort to make a family for herself. She pushes her son away – at the request of the boyfriend – so that she and the boyfriend can have time alone to have sex, or get drunk or get stoned. She stays out all night with the boyfriend and her new friends, which are his friends and one of which he’s having an affair with! All this while leaving Duncan alone in a foreign place to fend for himself. Luckily, he befriends the offbeat and eccentric manager of the local water park who eventually hires Duncan and gives him the community and family that he desperately needs.Why am I writing about this? Because there was many scenes in the movie that stood up and slapped me across the face. I was reminded of my own behavior while my husband and I were dating. My boys were just two and five when their dad and I split up and I introduced them to my then boyfriend/now husband within a few months. I don’t want to beat myself up too much – I really did the best I knew how but I definitely made mistakes. There were most definitely times when I should have come to my boys’ rescue – especially the older one – but didn’t out of fear of losing my boyfriend’s approval. My fear of abandonment was so over powering that it drove me to – in a sense – abandon my own children. FUCK it really sucks to say that out loud. OR write it down. Whatever. It SUCKS because it feel so good to throw stones at our own parents but you know what they say about glass houses…Not that there’s any real comparison between my parenting and my parents’ parenting but STILL I have been so insistent that they just at least take responsibility for their total lack of responsibility that I know that I must now do the same.At least for the older one. I think he’s old enough to get it now. He turned 11 over the weekend. He ran in his first cross country track meet and he came in dead last. It wasn’t even close. There were several minutes between him and the girl who finished before him. He was kinda bummed but I was so proud of him and insisted that he be proud of himself. In the end, he admitted that he did at least get a lot of applause for being last when those poor guys in the middle got hardly any. That’s my boy! And that’s my new philosophy for parenting moving forward. I may have made mistakes and I may not win at this race but I will give it my best shot. I will excel at teaching my kids how to be human. To admit mistakes and ask for forgiveness. Everyday. I will start by writing letters to them acknowledging the mistakes I have made and the regrets that still linger. I know that my sweet boys will forgive me because they love me more than I will ever fully be able to grasp. Even when I come in dead last.