One of the best movies to watch, for anyone who thinks they know what they want in life, and have forged a serious path toward it, is Baby Boom with Diane Keaton. Released in ‘87, it was very successful and spawned a TV show. The movie I’ve seen many times, TV show, not once.
The movie is about a high-powered woman, Diane Keaton, on a fast track to financial success within the power-brokers of a huge New York City consulting firm. She is known as the “Tiger Lady,” a take-no-prisoners member of management when it comes to making and closing deals. Due to a family tragedy Keaton’s executive type-A personally, accepts, make changes and flourishes as an accidental mother; she inherits her cousin’s 1-year-old daughter. This isn’t a movie review, it’s about how this movie, and a simple circumstance in life initiated an unforgettable moment for me — times two.
My oldest daughter was four when I slipped a video tape of Baby Boom into our late ‘80s VCR for the first time. My youngest, at not quite 2, was napping. The movie fit my mother/career and parenting philosophy, perfectly. My daughter loved it too. When the movie ended, and as the credits rolled, my 4-year-old climbed onto the coffee table, launched into my arms and we danced around the living room to the wonderful Burt Bacharach music. I cried then, because those deep emotional and connective moments with children are rare. That little girl, who held onto to me so tightly as we danced is now 30, with a little girl of her own. Where has the time gone and why are those special moments so few? Back then life for us, as a young couple with two little girls, was very hectic. For families now, moments like that whiz by barely noticed.
A couple of weeks ago, while I was babysitting my granddaughter Sydney, “Baby Boom” was on TV. I switched it on not even thinking that a 16-month-old would want, or have the attention span, to watch it. I just wanted the sound of it in the background because I was a bit weary of Curious George. That Sydney cuddled next to me for the entire movie, identifying and mentioning each time Elizabeth, the “baby” was in a scene, was astounding.
When the movie ended Sydney wrapped her arms around my neck, hugged hard and we danced around the living room, very much like I did with her mother, over 25 years before. It was a connective moment passed from one generation to the next, this empty nester felt beyond privileged to experience with the littlest member of our family. Yes, I cried again. How could I not.
Now when Sydney comes over, and even at home, she points at the TV and says “baby.” We watch “Baby Boom” often. Sometimes Syd lasts through the whole movie and sometimes only the “baby” scenes. But each time, that little sprite and I dance to the magical movie music because there’s less time to let wiz by. Soon the world will reach out and Sydney will be off to forging her own future, maybe as a high powered woman seeking financial success, maybe not. She’ll have to accept change and I believe she’ll flourish, (in a small part), because of some very special movie moments she shared with her Nana.