When I was three or four years old, my mom took my infant brother to visit her family in New York and left me in Michigan with my dad for the weekend. While she was away, I was riding my bike and somehow managed to fall over my handle bars and scrape my face on the pavement. I was pretty distraught until my dad gathered me up, gave me ice cream, and put on the movie Parenthood. I calmed down pretty quickly, lulled by sugar and the quiet and familiar drama of family life. I’ve always enjoyed that memory; it’s a perfect vignette of my ideal childhood and the loving father figure who shaped it.
We all grew up bathed in the flickering blue glow of Saturday night movie rentals. These moments are primal, as if the light coming out of our living room windows was telegraphed by our ancestors gathered around their fires. These moments penetrate us deeply and shape our lives—in my case, in a way I never could’ve imagined.
Continue reading How ‘Parenthood’ Saved My Life