You remember the Steve Martin movie from the late 80’s about being a parent and all the hilarious and wild things that can happen? Ok, let me take that back– it was a movie about being a parent (check!) and wild thinks happened, I guess (check!), but other than that I don’t recall the movie being that funny. I think I was probably 13 or 14 when I loaded the movie (that I rented from the Video Super Shop) into the VHS at home and awaited the hijinks and hilarity that was sure to come from a Steve Martin movie (The Jerk, The Man With Two Brains, etc.)
Unfortunately, all I can remember is that I just didn’t get it. A kid who had some form of behavior problems, another kid who liked to bang his head against the wall while wearing a trash can on his head, a third kid who told her mother she hated her so mom threw her out. This is not a movie on par with what I came to expect from one of the wild and crazy guys. This was like real life and stuff! I grew up in a house that was more akin to Ozzie and Harriet and the Cleavers, not some household where the kids rebelled and ran away from home.
So why do I bring this up now? I caught about half of the movie on TV the other day and I had to stop and watch. I figured that since I have a 3 1/2 year old the movie might make more sense. Not so much. Maybe I should check it out in 15 years or so, after the formative years of parenthood have passed.
Anyways, the one part of the movie that did resonate with me (now that I am a parent) was an exchange that Steve Martin’s character had with his son, Kevin, about 10 years old. He was tucking Kevin into bed and Kevin said something about how when he grew up he wanted to go to work where his dad went to work. And Steve Martin asks him why. I will paraphrase what was said because I don’t remember it word for word (I know, one of the few movies I do not know every word to): He said something like, “Because then we could see each other every day.”
Yep, that did it for me. I can only hope that my daughter feels that way about me. Why? Not because I want her to be a lawyer ( I DON’T!) but because it is clear from that statement alone that there is not only a love and trust for the parent, but that the relationship has transcended to one of deep friendship. I am incredibly lucky that I have that with my parents and I only hope that I have that with my daughter and that she won’t take it too personally when I have to put her in time out.