In some cozy pajamas. I curl up on the couch and pull up the knit blanket to cover baby girl and me. I grab the remote and look at the DVR to find my show. I highlight what I’m going to watch and immediately my husband says, “Oh no, not that show. Why do you do this to yourself?” while he smirks and shakes his head.
Why do we sit in front of the TV knowing we’re about to be crying? We’re about to have a full on ugly cry. I’ll tell you why – because “This is Us” – is us. It’s me, it’s you, it’s our families, our kids, it’s the relationships and emotions we know that come with such deep love. The writers and actors do such an incredible job sharing the emotions we feel with the characters on screen. What we feel as a daughter, a sister, a wife and mostly, a mother.
In our day-to-day, we keep moving forward, we have different emotions throughout the week but we don’t take the time to be emotional. For this one hour a week though, we allow the Pearson family into our homes and allow ourselves to feel all we need to feel. (Anyone else actually welcome the commercial breaks during this hour?)
How can a TV show bring this about each and every week and I can’t on my own? I don’t know about you, but I know I can easily talk myself past the emotions I’m having and get myself to move on. There are mouths to feed, doctor appointments to get to, meal prep to organize and our lists go on. Even during my prayer time with the Lord, I keep the conversation moving forward. I don’t do a good job sitting and waiting for myself to feel all I need to feel even in those moments with Him.
So I let this hour come fully prepared that my mascara will be runny afterwards and that my husband will be laughing at me on the other side of the couch. I’m good with it. Someone else can keep moving their story forward while I get to sit still and feel. They capture my attention and my emotion – – and somehow they do so in a way that doesn’t allow my mind to wander to other things I have to get done or other things that are typically racing through my mind. I just get to sit and feel.
I love that we see the Pearson family in all parts of life, and that they reinforce that every point in life is full of emotion – excitement, fear, anxiety, love, loss – they give it all to us.
Pregnancy is emotional. Being a new mom is emotional. Growing a family is emotional. Dealing with screaming babies is emotional. Managing young kids’ tantrums and schedules is emotional. Trying to raise good people is emotional. Holding on in the teenage years will be emotional. And even when our kids are grown adults, grown adults with their own kids, it’s going to be emotional.
And we already know this don’t we? Even if you just have one baby at home, you’ve already thought and worried about their lives. I clearly remember bringing my oldest home and those first few weeks were sooooo emotional. I worried not only about her breathing rhythms in the bassinet next to my bed, but I worried about keeping her safe from the world for the foreseeable future (like, I still cannot watch Law & Order SVU til this day six years later.)
These are the emotions of parenthood, of motherhood. And they’re sitting in front of us on the big screen. Ready for us to feel all we feel.
Thanks for showing us all life has to offer within 60 minutes, Jack & Rebecca. We know this is hard. We know this is emotional. We know this is amazing. We’re right there with you.