Mother, May I?

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By G.P. Avants

I don’t know who recommended I Am Mother on Netflix, but I took the bait. This show, set in a supposed post-human civilization world, centers around a caretaker robot and her surrogate little girl. The child was selected from a collection of human embryos, that the robot, named Mother raised.

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In a perfect underground environment Mother does her best to create a home. It appears that humans as a race have faced a decimating event and repopulating the world is being done one person at a time. We see the relationship begin between mother and daughter. Mother may be artificial by nature, but she knows how to nurture a child and meets its basic health, familial, and educational needs. However, the child longs for siblings and the very human need for society. The girl begins to wonder what life is like outside of her safe little world. The picture that Mother describes is bleak and disparaging. She can’t imagine why her daughter would even want to leave home when she has everything she will ever need here.

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The outside world comes knocking in the form of an injured woman. This new voice cautions the girl that her life isn’t reality. Something else is happening that Mother is keeping from the girl. Seeds of doubt are planted forcing the girl to leave her home and try to understand what the big wide world is really about.

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Mother’s plan is to remake the human race in a more peaceful and excepting society. It is her hope that she has raised a daughter that will keep that dream alive and embrace it as her own. Was this the plan of a dying human race that learned too late where they went wrong? Or is the machine’s way of turning humans into a manageable able, efficient, and less volatile species?

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The truth lies in the hands of the girl when she assumes the roles created for her. She is now Mother.

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As in real life the home truly shapes a child’s view of the world. We as parents are to prepare our children to face the world with all its directions and choices. It is a double-edged sword being a parent. We first create a home as a safe and nurturing place for our children. Our job is to prepare them to leave home and hopefully replicate a new one in the world. If we smother our kids and don’t let them fly they will be immature and weak. If we give them too much freedom and send them out before they are ready we are feeding them to the wolves. In many ways there will be a certain confrontation or even disagreement that signals adulthood in our children. How a mother or father handle this home invasion can really influence the course of our children’s future.

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