We all have our rituals. Thursday nights have been longstanding nights of ritual for me. Whether I was in school (Friends led to E.R.), or college (Grey's Anatomy), or working (Parenthood) - I had made it through the day, heck even the week. I could stay up late to watch the full night of television because the next day was Friday and I just had to make it to the end of the day.
The irony is I'm not a big TV watcher. I realize the previous paragraph might negate that entire statement. Truth be told, I have about 3 shows on my DVR. And so, when one ends saying goodbye is hard. It not only leaves a hole in my Thursday night lineup, but also it's like friends/family are departing.
For some reason when Parenthood premiered back in 2010 something told me I should set the 'ole TiVo. Then I watched. I was hooked. I don't know if it was Lauren Graham's line in the pilot episode as she moved back home "I'm out of money" - been there, done that (in fact, I literally was there - late 20s in my parents house) that helped seal the deal.
Ultimately though, I think it was Erika Christensen's character Julia that brought me back each week.
In the midst of an uncertain time for me, Julia's character was everything I wasn't - accomplished, married with child (who happens to have my name), a homeowner, and holding a lucrative job.
Yet in the next breath she was everything I was - the youngest of her siblings, sassy, and someone who tells it like it is.
Yep. Maybe it was those characteristics where I found common ground. As an educator, I may never have a lucrative job. But, I love my job, much like Julia's character loves hers. She knows how to communicate with people and she does so in a real, raw way. She's got some spit fire in her and I respect that.
In the rubber-band ball episode I laughed on the inside with Julia as she fiercely tossed the ball up and down in front of the teacher's face as she frustratingly listened to the teacher tell her about Sydney's behavior and then said, "I can keep this, right?" As a teacher I've wanted to do that so many times in front of parents' faces, but in that moment I wanted to pelt the teacher. The following season I cried with her as she struggled to have a baby, as I also underwent my 2nd surgery for endometriosis. And well, let's not even get into when she breaks down on her kitchen floor.
I'm pretty certain that one of the beauties of Parenthood was that in a way, there's a tad bit of each sibling to relate to - and if not in your own way then there is someone in your family. Every season has gotten better. And of course, my favorite, Julia, has gotten stronger. Much like in life.
The seasons change. Jobs change. We grow. It's our family that remains.
Tonight, my homework is complete (teacher's have homework, too), the takeout has been eaten, and season 6 is playing on repeat as I get ready to say goodbye to Parenthood. I love this show. It's been fun. Thanks for the journey.