The first time I watched the movie Parenthood, I laughed a bit and cried at the end when all of the family is together with the new babies. Now that I watch it as a parent, I laugh and cry through the entire movie and sob uncontrollably at the last scene.
What have these kids done to me?
Perhaps my attachment to this movie is because so many things that happen in the movie have actually happened to us. No, I do not have a daughter who has secretly been married while still in high school and I really hope I never have to deal with that scenario! But, I have seen my son proudly walk around with nothing but a hat on.
I have also seen my daughter get extremely emotional over the simplest of things. And my son has been known to bump things with his head-just for fun. My husband has been completely goofy just to make the kids laugh and I have already had intense battles with my daughter. We have definitely been thrown up on, among other fluids touching us.
As parents, we try really hard not to get too competitive watching Abby play soccer so that we can teach her that it is about fun and how she plays the game. But, when her team wins and we see the joy in her face, there is a part of me that wants to jump across the field, fall on the ground and beat my fists in happiness.
I am finally at the point where I realize my parents did not do too bad of a job raising me and perhaps I can learn from them after all. And my brother and I are now friends in which the eleven year gap no longer matters.
Nick and I have discussed the strong points to not having more kids, namely financial ones. But, we both would love to ride the roller coaster a bit more and see what turns and loops are before us. I really do crave an orderly life, but what fun is that? What kind of stories are there to tell if everything goes according to plan?
I still think my favorite scene is the opening one, in which the parents with three small children are leaving a baseball game. The parents are juggling bags, hats, foam fingers, strollers and, oh yes, their kids. They struggle with car seat buckles and random kids running out into traffic. The kids are covered with dirty faces and are hyped up on sugar. The dad breathes a sigh of exhaustion and relief when everyone is safely placed in the mini-van, then continues to drive into the night while the kids sing songs about diarrhea.
I feel his pain.
The beauty of Ron Howard's movie is that it is timeless and most likely every family can relate to at least one of the scenarios displayed in this movie. Watching it makes me feel like perhaps our family is "normal" and it is okay to laugh and cry as much as we do.
It also reminds me that parenting is never over. Just because they leave for college does not mean the job is done.
Suddenly, I am very tired.