after finishing the Parenthood finale let me just say that i began crying at around minute 5 when hank asked for zeke’s blessing for their marriage. there are exactly 39429845629385203857 reasons to love parenthood and even more why i am traumatized see it end, but i can’t let the moment go by without saying thanks to the show parenthood for a few of the gems it put in my knapsack.

1) a family after bedtime. there are days when you feel so immeasurably blessed to have the family that you do and there are days when you cannot wait to get to bedtime and attempt to forget the family you had that day. regardless of which day greeted you, after everyone was snug in their beds and dinner was done and cleaned there was this new family ready to embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly and it was nothing short of a privilege to walk through life with them.

2) no easy clean-ups. life is messy, and sometimes the worst parts are seeing how you respond when life does not go as you planned. what Parenthood taught me in spades was to learn to pick up the pieces and see the real beauty shining through the cracks. they didn’t always get it right, but when they didn’t they were realistic about the blood, sweat, and tears it took to put it back together.

3) they showed you it is worth it. let’s be honest; sometimes when the fit hits the shan and life gets to be about two zillion light years from where we hoped it would be, we need the reminder that not all is lost. that there can be a new picture that is markedly different than the one we had hoped and prayed for, and that it can be beautiful too. we need to know that it is worth it to love. especially when it hurts so much to do so at times.

4) they laughed. i think that they greatest gift my family of origin gave me was the ability to laugh. i mean laugh so hard that you want someone to tell a sad story just so you can breathe and maybe get the pain out of your side. there are many lessons i have been blessed to learn over my vast 38 years (snicker, snicker… oooo now i want a snickers), but perhaps the greatest is that sometimes the only proper response to the crazy is to laugh. i loved laughing with the bravermans like i laugh with the mcgoverns.

5) they cried. ohhhhh doggie did i cry while i watched this show! it was not always tears of sadness though usually it was tears of joy and of gratitude that they acknowledged the depth of life. the deep, deep hurts that go far beyond words sometimes and the highs that show you exactly where your heart is, more than any anatomy class ever could.

6) i am grateful for a show that dared to be real. that wasn’t based on some crazy clean version of family with subtle messages about who each member should be, but who dared to let real characters have real issues and actually act as they would in real life and then to let us on the other side of that camera receive the gift of letting us be right where we are and respond in the only way we know how this far into our own personal journey. it gave me the grace to be where i am and to not base my worth on the end product.

i will go clean up the mascara that has dripped somewhere below my knees at this point and have sweet dreams of one day becoming a braverman. until then please forward any links to t-shirts that would prove i am a braverman at heart. may you stay forever young.

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