Just Like Me
Are you a fellow Trekkie?
For those of you who don’t know what that is, it is someone who is a fan of Star Trek. I don’t dress up in costumes and go to conventions, but I’ve always enjoyed Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek universes. It’s the fantasy and the fun characters that get me. Now, if you are not a fan of sci-fi, please don’t stop reading! I’m going to talk about an episode that I think can speak to a lot of we mothers.
The episode I’m talking about it called “Lineage” (Star Trek: Voyager, S7 E1, you can find it on Netflix or Prime Video), and it makes me cry every time (even when I’m not pregnant and super hormonal!). This episode is about B'Elanna Torres, who has newly found that she and her husband are going to have a baby. This is a surprise for her, because she is half Klingon and her husband is human and supposedly it is hard for those species to have a baby together (although B’Elanna is also half human herself). If you don’t know what a Klingon is, they are a violent alien race who pride themselves on their warrior skills and honor. They also have quite a temper.
B’Elanna is happy to find that she is going to have a baby…until she sees a projection of what her child will look like and finds that her daughter will have some dominate Klingon traits. The episode is full of flashbacks that show how difficult being half Klingon made life for B’Elanna when she was growing up. She doesn’t want her child to have those same difficulties, so she goes to drastic measures and unethically tries to have her daughter’s DNA resequenced to eliminate the Klingon genetics (because its sci-fi, and they can do that).
I think all we mamas can relate to wanting our child to have a better life than we had. We don’t want them to have to struggle with the same issues that we did. Of course we want to keep them safe and healthy, and if your came from an abusive or neglectful environment, of course you are going to do your best to make sure that never happens to them. But that’s not really the kind of struggle I’m talking about. I’m referring to the more natural struggles that all human beings deal with.
Do you have a mini me? I do. Not only is she the child that looks the most like me, but she also struggles with the same things that I did when growing up (and still do, sometimes!): feeling like I’m not good enough, frustrated when things don’t go just as planned, poor self-image, impatience, ect.
It is really hard to see her feeling these feelings that I remember feeling so vividly. I so wish I could take them all away for her.
But what if our children’s struggles are a good thing?
Do you know that if a baby chick is aided in pecking its way out of the egg, it will die? That pecking motion that they do is what kickstarts their lungs so they are able to breathe after they reach the open air. Mama hens know that struggle is good for their kids, why is it so hard for we human mamas to get it?
Of course we are here to comfort and advise our children as they go through tough times, but would we really want to take their trials away from them? Would they really be able to grow if we did that? Think about how you have grown through the trials and tribulations of your life.
My brothers and sisters, you will face all kinds of trouble. When you do, think of it as pure joy. Your faith will be tested. You know that when this happens it will produce in you the strength to continue. And you must allow this strength to finish its work. Then you will be all you should be. You will have everything you need.
James 1:2-4 (NIRV)
Of course, it was awful that B’Elanna Torres was treated like an outsider when she was child, but that wasn’t because of who she was, it was a reflection on the people who were treating her poorly. And changing her daughters DNA would not change that fact that everyone has troubles and obstacles to overcome in their life.
The end of the episode is the part that really gets me (I’m tearing up just thinking about it!). It’s when B’Elanna’s husband takes her by the shoulders and looks her in the eyes and tells her that he hopes their little girl grows up to be just like her mother. He talks about the good traits she has, how strong and resilient she is.
When he looked at his wife, he saw the good and strong in her. It challenges me to do the same thing when I look at my mini-me.
She is a nurturer, she’s creative, she is hardworking, and she loves to laugh. Just like her mama.
|Though there is an obvious size difference, even our hands and feet look like they could belong to the same person.|
I just want to challenge you mamas (and myself!) to focus on the good in your children. Don’t think, “Oh man, that child is just like me!” in a negative way. Think it in a positive way! And be thankful that you have the experience and empathy to help that mini-me through their tough times.
Blessings to you and your minis,