Mothers on the Lookout for More Edwards

ws_Robert_Pattinson_Closeup_3_1920x1200It takes a vampire, doesn’t it? It takes a vampire to open our eyes to the fact that a little restraint is not a bad or outmoded commodity?  I can’t comment on the literary merit of the series that chronicles the live and times of a human/vampire romance amid the towering firs of Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula.  Nor would it be fair to critique the quality of Stephenie Meyer’s writing, since I’ve never broken the spine on one of her now iconic novels; though, as a teacher who loves seeing her students read anything, I send the woman blessings on behalf of all those girls she has beckoned forth to the written word.

In the theater today, as I viewed “Eclipse”, I watched breathlessly as a nubile young female and an eternally hot (or cold, depending on your perspective) yet youthful vampire wrestled romantically on a silken bed, held each other’s faces in tender caress, pulled shirts from jeans, fumbled at buttons and fastenings, and then,…and then, …didn’t get it on! Perhaps because I hadn’t read the whole saga, I was stunned.  No peek at a silken mammary gland, no exposed haunch clothed only in a thong. Instead, the couple stood, repaired the rumples, and got engaged.

Naturally, Bella is too young  and Edward a century too old to make this a marriage of like minds, but at least one of them has a head on his shoulders. Edward Cullen’s circumspection in their moment of passion arises out of a wisdom refined over more than a century as one of the undead.  It is he who wants to wait, he who declares an intention to honor Bella with a legal bonding, he who considers her longer term interests.  All hail Edward!  As a mother and teacher, I can only applaud the promulgation of such ideals across thousands of movie screens on hot summer nights.

We might wonder, if a vampire, whose lust for human blood and for his lady-love can be tempered by will and patience, why can’t human males likewise exhibit restraint.  To be fair, Bella was the initiator in that scene, wanting to experience “it” before  she receives loves first bite from Edward.  Bella, it must be said, like high school girls the world over, is very young, and, as my psych-major cousin would say, “self-referenced”.  Yet in the maddening manner of those same teenagers, Bella often sounds almost reasonable.  That is, until you listen closely, ” I want to be like you, Edward,” meaning, “I want to be a vampire.”

Edward, again and always the more mature of the pair, has tried every means of persuasion to change Bella’s mind. “No one chooses this life, Bella,” he points out.  He urges time, restraint, and rational thought.  More and more, Edward is looking like great son-in-law material.  He has most of the essentials:

a.  a world and millenium view

b. a protective nature

c. proven loyalty

d. a specific plan of action for any situation

e. a willingness to wait and to know that waiting adds value to the goal

The debate about whether pre-marital sex is moral or immoral, good or bad, a sin or sinless can be argued until Edward himself is an old man.  The issue brought out so surprisingly in “Eclipse” is that sex should always involve a decision based on choice for both partners. Edward has demonstrated that sometimes, perhaps always, a young man or woman is fine with just saying, “No, thank you.”

Thank you, Edward

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2 thoughts on “Mothers on the Lookout for More Edwards

  1. Interesting Barb. I have read the first 2 books and agree that books that gets kids to read is a good thing.

    I am struck with the fact that in the first 2 books anyway that Bella seems to have NO Boundaries whatsoever. She is continually wanting Edward to take her life so they can be together forever. Constantly putting herself in danger in favor of their relationship. I think this is a poor message for our young women these days. I ask my young nieces about the message and they do agree she has no boundaries. Can they tell the difference between this fiction and their reality? They tell me they think they can. But my questions make them stop and think.

    I just don’t think these books have a good message underneath it all, no matter how entertaining they may be.

    1. Becky,

      As always, you raise important questions. I think though, as a teacher/reader/writer, that it is dangerous to limit access to different forms of literature based on a “goodness” barometer. When I was young, I read every volume written by a man named Dennis Wheatley. His mystery, spy, romance, occult plots dealt with devil worship, demonology, and possession. I don’t know why they attracted my teenage imagination, but I was hooked on the whole good triumphing over evil theme. (I scanned the shelves of several used bookstores recently and found nary a single book by this author.) Even Nancy Drew, in the original, frequently disobeyed her father when it came to putting her life in danger. Literature is full of ideas and situations that are not “parent friendly” as are many of the other influences on a child’s life. It is true that I didn’t buy my then-preteen and teenage daughter any Madonna tapes or heavy metal because I had decided they had nothing positive to offer her. Likewise, she wasn’t able to watch ‘Three’s Company’ because the entire cast behaved moronically. One day, that same daughter came to me and asked, “Mommy, does it mean I am creating negative karma if I like some of AC/DC’s songs?” Wow, what does a mother say? What I said was, “Well, let’s look at this. Is that the only music you listen to?” Of course it wasn’t. My daughter loved all different types of music, including varieties from several countries. We discussed it and determined that balance was probably the key to the question. Were her tastes balanced? Did she realize that negative or troubling lyrics did not necessarily contain “truth”, any more than “nicer” tunes might. If a child’s life is filled with observant adults, involved parents, and deep family connections, dipping one’s toe into the vampire world, the occult world, or any other world, should not produce regrettable behaviors or scars.

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