The show’s basic premise details the lives of the Bravermans. The family consists of the original parents (Zeek and Camille), their four adult children (Adam, Sarah, Julia and Crosby), the various partners who have joined into and sometimes divorced out of the family (Kristina, Seth, Mark, Joel, and Jasmine), and the multitude of grandchildren who have resulted from these unions.
One of the most endearing things to me is the relationship of these adult siblings to each other. It’s quite attractive to me to see a large loving family like this one even if they are kind of crazy at times. Growing up, I was only one of two children in a dysfunctional family. My brother and I were not close at all as children, and even as adults we are very distant from each other. We just don’t have much in common. We didn’t have a lot of cousins close in age nor did we spend much time with the ones we had. In contrast, my ex-husband was one of four boys who were nine years apart in age; they were all friends growing up and into adulthood.
When my ex-husband and I were planning our family, we wanted to have between four and six children. I always wished I had come from a larger family, and he was happy with how many siblings he had. Life has a funny way of changing one’s plans, though. My ex and I did birth four children, but only three of them lived. After our youngest was born, my health went downhill when my immune system spiraled out of control. I clung to the hope that I would regain my health and we would be able to have another child, but by the time my youngest started kindergarten, I had accepted that our family was complete as I continued to struggle with my health.
Even with only three children in my family, there is one thing that I find unbelievably accurate in Parenthood: The way the adult siblings are always talking over each other when they get together. All four of them speak at once when they are having a conversation. My three kids do this all the time, especially when they are talking to me. The twins are the worst about it. They both try to talk to me about different topics simultaneously, and they expect me to be able to understand and respond to both of them. When the youngest one chimes in, I’m sunk. I jokingly explain I am not capable of listening to and responding to that much information at once! I’ve explained this to my kids numerous times, and they always laugh, yet for some reason, they continue this barrage of chatter. It seems to be their default method of having a conversation.
Despite the abundance of noise, I wouldn’t trade my children’s crazy talking for anything. I love the amusing chaos that the three kids can create, and I wish that their other sister was still with us to be able to join in. I suspect that even when they are in their forties they will continue this way of communicating that they have embraced just as the Braverman siblings did.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC