interstellar, love, parenting

Interstellar, parenting, and love

Before children, K and I were not frequent movie goers. Once a year was fairly typical as I’m more of a sit in PJs and pause every so often to discuss how I feel about the movie kind of person. Post children, the record remains fairly steady except that the once-a-year movie excursion feels packed with excitement because wow we’re on our own without kiddos! It just feels a bit more special knowing how rare the opportunity is.

This past week we went to the movies to see Interstellar. It’s pretty incredible, so good I hardly noticed the nearly three hour run time. And while the space and time concepts really made me feel dumb think, it was the ruminations of love and family that really resonated, in particular one scene where the main character, Cooper, reflects on what his late wife said to him after they had children:  

Now we’re just here to be memories for our children… once you’re a parent you’re the ghost of your children’s future.

The other day we went bowling with my family. When K finished putting up all our names on the screen, my mother looked up and laughed. Except for the kids, everyone was listed as their title in relation to the little ones: Nani, Nana, Mamu, Abu, Mama. And why were we bowling in the first place? Why did my parents pick up a bowling ball for the first time in their lives? Most definitely not because they liked bowling but because their children and grandchildren asked. We went to a theme park later that week and it was exhausting. My sneakers were too tight, the food terrible and the lines too long, but we enjoyed it okay enough because the kids loved it.

Since becoming a parent, I’ve noticed how everything we do is with them in mind and not just the obvious stuff like parks, playgrounds, and hikes, but everything.

Take writing. Publication has always been a dream but now it means more because of them. Because they’re so excited about it. Because my eldest sits down to pen his own stories like mama. But not just writing- cooking meals, exercise, everything is for me but it’s also now for them. Because I know they see me and they see what they might like to do, they see the things that are possible, they see it’s good to try, and good to dream.

walking in on my kiddos “reading” an ARC of my book

Every trip we take, or excursion we have, I do it to give them memories of a good childhood, I do it to help give them the building blocks for their future, for when they leave the nest and beyond… when I am the ghost of their future.

The strangest thing is how this desire to give them memories, this always keeping them in the forefront, is not suffocating. It’s beautiful. Logically this makes no sense. I have no explanation for this except of course love. In the movie Interstellar, one of the astronauts says:

Brand: Listen to me when I say love isn’t something that we invented. It’s observable. Powerful. It has to mean something.
Cooper: Love has meaning, yes. Social utility, social bonding, child rearing…
Brand: We love people who have died. Where’s the social utility in that?
Cooper: None.
Brand: Maybe it means something more – something we can’t yet understand. Maybe it’s some evidence, some artifact of a higher dimension that we can’t consciously perceive… Love is the one thing that we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can’t understand it.

Love is a reality that completely humbles me. Everything we do for them is because of love, because we want to fill their hearts with memories, because we are the ghosts of their future, and because this love transcends time and space, because it is the meaning of life itself.

None of this is rocket science. It’s all strictly obvious. And yet I appreciate Interstellar for both blowing my mind with all the things I couldn’t comprehend and reminding of this one thing, that regardless of anything one may have or not have, is the most important thing there is.

5 thoughts on “Interstellar, parenting, and love”

  1. Hello Aisha. I like reading your posts. I cannot wait to read your book. The topic of your book is one that I can relate to in my own life and family. I was wondering if you can write a post more on forced marriage and the lack of importance placed on girls choices and opinions in Pakistani culture? Furthermore, what is the limit of a parent's “haqq” or rights over their children when the children's emotional or physical well-being is at stake? I would appreciate reading about your views.


  2. yes! i loved that quote from interstellar too, and it totally made everything seem so big and small at the same time.
    thank you for putting it into words, and reminding me that i wanted to make note of it too, to reflect, and share with the twins at some point 🙂


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