Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Must-see TV

I’ve never been one to watch a whole lot of TV. But every once in a while, I’ll stumble on a show that I can’t live without. When I was pregnant, it was Lost. Last year, it was Friends. (Yes, I know I’m a few years late, but I watched the entire 10 seasons in a matter of months thanks to Netflix.) Now my obsession is Friday Night Lights.

When Ladybug goes to bed at night, I take my laptop into the exercise room, plug in the earplugs and run or bike through two episodes. The distraction not only keeps my mind off the task at hand but, as corny as it sounds, it also gets me thinking about parenting.

If you haven’t seen the show, it revolves around the life of a football coach and his family in a small Texas town. The 40-something coach and his wife have a teenage daughter and, this season, a new baby. For some reason, the show hits home for me. Maybe it’s because I’ll be 40-something when Ladybug is a teenager or because I feel the fatigue the coach’s wife is dealing with as the baby cries all night.

As I watch the show, I often find myself making mental notes of how the various parental characters deal with teen issues – the ones that my husband and I roll our eyes and shrug our shoulders at now, saying we’ll deal with them as they arrive with Ladybug.

I know I still have many more years before we’re at that point, but it’s still interesting to watch how other parents – fictional, though they may be – deal with their daughter coming home drunk from a party or lying about her whereabouts.

The situations are so realistic they’re uncomfortable. You can feel the tension coming through the screen. It makes me glad Ladybug’s teen years are still a ways off.


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