Whatever the reason, someone decided to make it a backdrop for a movie and thus was born the classic “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray. I love that movie, even if Bill Murray can be annoying. I’m going to tell you why now. Because, when I first saw the flick I was already a mom.
To me, Groundhog Day symbolizes what it’s like to be a mom. At first you start out married life much like anchorman Phil Connors heading to report on the groundhog, and he has no idea his life is headed for a huge turning point, after which it will never be the same. The next thing you know, you have an infant and your life is never the same. You had no idea. Much like Bill, at first you can’t believe what is going on. This little one is a miracle. You would think it has never happened to anyone else ever before the way you are in awe at your little creature. Suddenly you find yourself in a very confusing situation, such as trying to figure out why you did this to yourself as you struggle to figure out how to handle your own offspring’s insane colic, which is something like the confusion Phil gets when he wakes up only to discover he is repeating the same day all over again in every detail. It's impossible! Soon you find that YOU are repeating the same day all over again, and it doesn’t go away until you figure out how to handle the current developmental challenge.
Here is where the movie gets interesting. First, Phil just keeps doing the same day all over again. HO-HUM! Then he decides to get creative and try to change his responses. He tests his limits and makes dumb mistakes doing bad things because tomorrow he will be right back where he started. THEN, he gets really smart and starts working at making the perfect day. He works on developing talents and serving and learning how to get to know and really love someone. Eventually, he gets it all right.
Here is where motherhood gets really interesting. We probably all go through all the stages Phil goes through to some extent, and then we realize that each day is a gift. We can pretty much expect a whole array of circumstances to keep happening over and over again, and we realize we can study them out and try different responses and find better ways and hone our skills, till we get pretty dang good at some things. So then we move on to other things. We can’t just wrap it all up pretty at the end like the movie because as soon as we semi master one stage or one personality, we are on to another set of new and ever more boggling circumstances to deal with.
This Groundhog Day I would like to say that I am forever grateful that I have the “same day” over and over again so that just as Phil learns to play concertos on the piano, be a hero and plan the perfect date, I can keep working on learning to play with and be a hero to my children and become a more perfect mom. In other words, thank goodness for second chances (and third and fourth and fifth chances too.)