Why we love Parenthood

by Andrea Cooley


The world said good-bye to the Braverman’s last week and I’ll admit, there were plenty of tears shed at the Cooley house. If you haven’t watched the show, what are you waiting for? You can stream it on Netflix. The first season wasn’t my favorite, but get through those first few episodes and you’ll fall in love with this family.

What made the show so great was how real the family was. Life is messy and complicated, but they loved each other no matter what. They are funny and dysfunctional and a little crazy. All things a family should be.

When I watched the love and respect the 4 siblings have for each other, it makes me so excited for our kids to grow up and be friends. (Confession: Adam and I talk about wanting 4 kids and part of the reason is that the Braverman’s have 4 kids. Ridiculous I know, but true!) There is a moment in every episode that I think to myself (or say to Adam if I’ve convinced him to watch with me) that I hope our family is that way. I want us to talk about the hard things. To never leave each other alone. To show up for every concert, game, and recital, and cheer each other on no matter what.

As I thought about the things that I loved about the show (and am seriously considering starting it over from the beginning), here are the things I will remember:

They aren’t perfect.
Everyone knows no family is perfect. And there are plenty of flaws in the Braverman clan. But that’s why we love them. We can relate to them! Whether it was losing jobs, adjusting to a new baby, dealing with in-laws, unfaithfulness in marriage, dealing with cancer, or issues of race, they dealt with it. They fought. And it wasn’t always pretty, but they came through every conflict, stronger.

They fight for each other.
My favorite example of this was Joel fighting for his marriage. Clearly, he and Julia both had issues and were ready to throw in the towel and get a divorce. I loved how the show handled this. No matter how you cut it, marriage is hard work. When you bring two imperfect people together there are going to be moments when the easiest option will seem like walking away. But when you love someone, you are willing to fight for them. To forgive. To sacrifice. To work together to make it work. That’s what marriage is all about.

They support each other.
Adam supported Christina when she ran for Mayor, even when he wasn’t sure about it. Jasmine encouraged Crosby to keep the Luncheonette open, even when it meant she had to take a job she didn’t love. As I watched these storylines unfold, I couldn’t help but compare them to areas in my marriage where I want to support Adam’s dreams and goals, even if I don’t know what the outcome will be. We need to be each other’s cheerleaders, to believe in encourage each other.

No matter what, they love each other.
Sarah wasn’t thrilled that Amber was following in her footsteps and having a baby when she was young with a dad who wasn’t in the picture. But she still supported her decision. And Camille and Zeke accept each of their children and grandchildren with open arms.

I pray our family, the little Cooley tribe that is taking shape, grows to love each other well. That we are our own best friends and biggest fans. I know it’s easy to look at other families, both on TV and in real life, and wish your family looked like theirs. And I don’t want to fall into the comparison trap. But I do want to turn to these families as examples of what family should be.

Why do you love the Braverman’s? Thursday night won’t be the same without them!

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Andrea Cooley

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