Last night my son wanted to watch the new Ron Howard produced program called "Parenthood." He had heard it was good. I don't watch much t.v. but decided to view it with him and was pleasantly surprised. The storyline centers around a close California family with four adult children, now raising their own kids. The oldest daughter has just moved back home with her parents to get back on her feet after a divorce with her musician, drug using and dealing husband. She has two teenagers, a boy and girl. The daughter is smoking cigarettes and pot. The son wants to go back home to live with his dad. Another son, also with two kids is kicked off his son's little league team as the coach for badgering an umpire who called out his son. The son, age 8 is experiencing learning and social problems - the school suspects he has Asperger's, a high-functioning form of Autism. There is sibling rivalry between the two adult daughters, one of whom is the golden girl high-powered attorney. But it appears that her marriage may not be as strong as she thought it was. The younger brother is portrayed as the commitment phobe. His girlfriend wants to have a baby, NOW, but he is not ready. Then the bomb is dropped at the end of the hour. Turns out he has already fathered a little boy but did not know until now!
Great real stuff. Thank goodness for reality and not hiding the crumbs under the rug! Middle-aged dating after divorce is one of the topics humorously brought up, along with the grandfather being told off with, "I'm not raising my kids the way you raised me." When the teenage daughter asks her mom why they have to move back with the grandparents, the mom replies, "Because we've run out of money." Just gotta love that! Now it would be great if one of the four adult kids had been widowed or maybe widowhood is reflected between the grandparents in some way. But at this point it is a minor criticism because this is such a refreshing and modern take on life today and I felt they did a very good job at it. I guess divorce is simpler to portray because it is more common for mid-lifers and easier to relate to.
So, maybe there is hope for Hollywood after all! Thank you Ron Howard for having the courage to portray a real family with real issues and real lives. I really believed this was an honest-to- good family that could actually exist! I have to admit feeling a tinge of envy while viewing this hour, though. These kids had the support of family to fall back on and that is not something I can rely on. My widowhood has been a very singualr road.
I am grateful:
1. For the springlike weather.
2. For having medical insurance (I'll devote a post to this topic in the near future).
3. For being able to take my sons to doctor appointments.
4. For being able to get my sons Rx acne medication and not pay through the nose.
5. For being offered a job (I'll post on that too).