The protagonist of the film gives her child, who is just seven years old, to the neighbor. “Take a look at the child,” she must have told her. Then she’s gone. She won’t come back, the child’s mother, not after a while, not in a few hours, not the next day, not at all. She’s gone forever. The mother knew that the moment she handed the child over to the neighbor who said the mother would be back soon. “Take a look at the child,” one says when one has to do some shopping or something else, but not if one sneaks home afterwards, grabs the already packed suitcase and leaves, forever. “Mommy will be right back,” she probably said to the little one, even though she knew it wasn’t the case. The child trusts. The mother knows it and leaves anyway. Without a word of explanation, rather with a lie. The only thing she didn’t lie to was the child’s father, because she actually didn’t say anything to him. But how did it happen?
It starts with a wedding. Two people say yes to each other. One immediately recognizes the typical middle-class milieu in America in the 1960s. The happy bride, who moves into the family home with a garden, with her husband. The house and the garden are her kingdom. He goes hunting. Sorry, to the office. Then the child comes. She takes care of, cooks, cleans, washes and mows the lawn. She worries about him. Then also about the child. The food is ready when he comes home in the evening after a long day. How it should be. But she is not happy with it and is becoming unhappier every day. The child grows up and in her the longing for something else. Freedom. self-realization. So she goes, one day, to this new life without the burden of husband and child. It’s the moment where I say, stop, I don’t want to see this anymore. It disgusts me. A friend watching the film with me is shocked. Why don’t I allow the woman to leave her husband, to realize herself? Well, it’s not that she left her husband either. That would have been a matter between two adults and that’s okay, but the child she gave birth to was what she wanted and thus took on the responsibility of being there for this child, an obligation that you have to take seriously, as long as the child needs the mother. The more helpless a living being is for which I take responsibility, the more I am required to take this responsibility seriously. Whether human or dog baby. I have to see and correspond to this dependency, which I first created with my decision. Anyone who simply walks away – and it doesn’t matter whether mother or father, dog owner – is selfish and egocentric. As a reasonable adult, I have to live up to a decision I have made. Deciding over the heads of the dependent and helpless not to fulfill this responsibility after all, even though I put them in this position in the first place, is betrayal that cannot be made up for or glossed over by anything. To slip away selfishly on top of that is the height of cowardice. The friend who saw the film with me didn’t understand. My anger and rage at all people who only see their own needs and don’t let anyone else count. I see the child who now sits by the window every day and waits for the mother to come home. He thinks it will stop, but he doesn’t see the deep pain, the insecurity, the loss of trust that the child suffers. I leave because I don’t want to be with people who don’t take responsibility seriously and only recognize their own needs. There are enough others who are just as narcissistic. I’m not the right person because I take my responsibility seriously and that’s why I avoid people who don’t do it.