Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I wrote this post before I left on my trip.  I haven't even watched TV since I've been home really, so I don't even know if this show is still on.  But either way, I believe the principle to still be true, so let me sturdy my soapbox before getting on it ... and, go:

A friend of mine asked me if I like the Parenthood TV show. I told him I'd seen it- which he informed was not actually answering the question.

So, do I like it? Well, it's not the overt pot references that hang me up with answering the question. I mean I've seen the Big Chill so I know what parents do when left to their own devices. While I like the show on one level, one of the problems I have with it is the pirate kid- and not so much him but a problem with his parents.

Now please keep in mind this little soap-box editorial comes from a women who lets her boys wear boots year-round (and who wore them year-round herself), from a woman who let's her 6 almost 7 year-old wear his clothes backwards even on school days (okaying with him first that he 1- knows they are backwards and 2- is okay with it). So maybe my view of the pirate issue in Parenthood is a little skewed.

In case you haven't seen the show there is a family that a son in early elementary school who likes bugs not baseball and would rather (at least in the first two episodes I saw) wear a pirate outfit than anything else. And his parents have a problem with it. Or at least they have a problem with it until the child is diagnosed with high functioning Asperges.  At the end of the second episode the parents go to a specialist who confirms the child does have asperges and then the parents ask now what.

The specialist answers that now they need to "meet Max where he is and then when he's ready, walk him into the world." And only then, in the last scene does the father come to the backyard in his own pirate garb and joins in the play with his son.

And it's not that I have a problem with the dad joining in- it's more that I have a problem that it's only when there's something "wrong" with his son does deciding the pirate world can stay even cross the parents' mind.

It reminded me of a story my FIL has told about a mom wanting to connect with her son but continued to refuse to meet him "where he was" and watch the children's main interest at the time: professional wrestling.

I'm not sure if that's the point the writers were trying to make with this little subplot or not, but it was a good reminder to me that perhaps the advice to "meet our children where they are" is not just true for parents of children with Asperges.


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