Well, it’s happened again.
As we’ve chatted about I’m either first to the party or the last one to arrive to the soiree shouting: Hey! Anyone else still here??
As with Gilmore Girls, Friday Night Lights and Nashville—I’ve succumbed to a marathon (not a binge!).
As a result,*I* now wanna chat about something from which everyone else has moved on:
I watched the discourse on Facebook (“Who saw Parenthood last night? OMG I cried!”) and thought I had more than enough drama in my life to ever choose television which didn’t make me laugh.
I was wrong.
I learned from the Bravermans.
I longed to be a Braverman.
I cheered for Julia. I rooted for Joel. I wrongly assumed I’d dislike Ray Romano as Hank (not usually a fan).
I learned about Asperger’s syndrome from Max. I admired Jasmine’s strength.
I pondered my own third act thanks to Millie & Zeek. I overcame my dislike of Dax Shepherd thanks to the character of Crosby.
I felt for Victor and thought about my own adopted girl.
I adored how the show tugged at my heart each viewing, but more than that I loved how every episode I identified with a different character.
One night I’d feel a kinship with Zeek. Another I’d entirely relate to Julia.
Male or female. It didn’t matter.
The show was so well written I discovered pieces of myself–ones I liked and disliked– in each of the Bravermans.
And the show made me think.
About myself. My family. My relationships. My third act (!). My work/life balance. All of it.
I’d marathon-watch *any* time this happened!
And, since there’s nary a soul left in my life or on social media who wants to talk Team Braverman, I’m Braverman-dumping it all here.
Because I can.
I’ve long since finished the series yet there’s an interaction/phrase which has remained in my brain.
It’s a simple one (to explain. if you’ve never even heard of Parenthood) and it’s complicated (in its layered meaning).
It’s an interaction I viewed as positive & sweet, but others shared they saw as negative & condescending.
Max Braverman, 14ish at the time, remarks to Hank he’s surprised Hank wants to marry his Aunt Sarah (my beloved Lauren Graham).
Max suggests to Hank that Sarah talks too much.
Hank agrees and shares he thinks of her voice as part of the silence.
Her voice is part of the silence.
I loved that line. That line reminded me of my life.
Back in cheerier times, The Husband and I took frequent road trips.
As we’d drive I’d yammer at him about plans and dreams.
I’d monologue at him about lofty ideas and, through process of said blather, I’d solve my ‘problems’ or figure out my ideas.
I’d always have a resolution I was happy with by the time we reached our destination.
I yammer to find resolution.
I recall saying to him frequently:
I just need to talk this though. You can think about something else if you want!
To which he responded:
I like when you talk. It relaxes me.
It relaxes me and her voice is part of the silence are, to my mind, the highest of compliments.
They convey comfort and love in a way which takes years to create.
They indicate one’s voice has evolved to become part of the soothing patter & fabric of the other person’s life.
Part of the almost unnoticed backdrop of the others’ existence.
I see this as a beautiful thing.
I don’t, as friends do, see it as an indication of the other person not listening. Tuning out.
I frequently tell the Child how I could listen to her stories all day.
Her tales, her yammering, her constant chatter is part of my own Mama-silence and I treasure it.
- Do you find beauty in the phrase as I do?
- Or do you find the very notion of “voice as part of the silence” indication the listener has “tuned out?”
Angela @ happy fit mama saysJuly 20, 2015 at 4:30 am
This topic came up yesterday on my house. My son was retell on a story and was going on and on adding his own flare to it. I could’ve listened to him forever. So relaxing.
Runner Girl saysJuly 20, 2015 at 4:31 am
I’d have heard this as an insult.
I wonder if it depends on your overall life outlook??
Tina Muir saysJuly 20, 2015 at 5:20 am
CARLA! I just love the way you think about things, it is so beautiful, and just gets us all thinking in a different way! I LOVE parenthood….although I am only up to what netflix has, so I am glad you did not ruin anything (already knew about sarah and hank). I felt what you are saying, and I understood it. You really get me thinking and I really appreciate that, I think about your words often 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful bday by the way!
Carla saysJuly 20, 2015 at 5:46 am
Heard from Facebook because I loved the comment so much. This. This was my car trip experience…
Ha Carla! Found myself getting teary on this one… Kevin and I were out in the garden picking currants yesterday, me all bundled up to deter the biting bugs, the kids inside after doing their currant picking duties, and we were talking. After a while I noticed I was doing the most talking going on about this or that (working life out through my talk) and I asked Kevin to talk. I said something about how I was doing all the talking and he said “I like it when you talk.” It took me aback a bit because I assume my talking to much would be annoying and that I don’t always like to hear my own voice so much, but it really made my HEART feel good. It was so affirming that he just liked hearing my voice. So ya, I’m with you lady. Oh and I love Parenthood too!
Fancy Nancy saysJuly 20, 2015 at 5:49 am
Yes there are times when I am totally tuned out as my two chickies fill the silence but I know that one day there will be silence and for that I try to remember to treasure it. We were getting ready to leave my parents’ house last week and my mom made a comment when I apologized for one of my girls screaming (happy scream). She said something to the effect of, in a few minutes the silence will be deafening and I’ll be begging for you to come back and scream! (Need to visit them more!) Oh and I totally want to be a Braverman!!! The episode when they adopted Victor and they all came forward and promised different things…..ugh tears!!!
Coco saysJuly 20, 2015 at 5:58 am
There’s not much chit-chat in my life. My husband’s not much of a talker and my kids are only just getting interested in what I have to say again!
Susie @ SuzLyfe saysJuly 20, 2015 at 6:04 am
I am one of those people are very much driven by mood–sometimes I just need silence, but so often I need to talk it out. But when things are bothering me, talk it out I do!
Plus, Alex thinks something has gone very wrong if I’m not speaking!
Michele @ paleorunningmomma saysJuly 20, 2015 at 6:57 am
This is such a beautiful spin on this subject! I feel like with a family of 5 we each struggle with being heard, but really there is comfort in all the noise that comes from us as a whole. I would miss it if it disappeared!
AmyC saysJuly 20, 2015 at 6:57 am
I love when the kids go on, and on, and on about what’s going on in their lives…then I’m not worrying about anything 🙂
lisa saysJuly 20, 2015 at 7:14 am
hmmm…….I like this idea but as someone who has so many thoughts (voices?) in her own head plus the yelling/screaming from 4 boys who compete for my attention all day long—–I love silence. I crave silence, especially in the car. 🙂
Michelle @ Running with Attitude saysJuly 20, 2015 at 7:22 am
I love the way you look at this! My boys’s story-telling does that for me I guess because it allows me to let go of everything else.
CAROL CASSARA saysJuly 20, 2015 at 7:41 am
I don’t have kids but suppose if I had I’d think that their voices were relaxing. I must admit to wanting to gag my chatty darling husband at times, though!
Rena McDaniel saysJuly 20, 2015 at 8:11 am
Okay, you and I were the only ones in the world who hadn’t watched it now I’m standing here all by myself haha! Sounds like a great show, I’ll check it out tonight…what did you think about Nashville? That’s my guilty pleasure.
Laurie Oien saysJuly 20, 2015 at 8:39 am
I loved Parenthood and I’m sad that it’s over! It was a great show that you could relate to so many of their topics on a personal level.
Claudia Schmidt saysJuly 20, 2015 at 8:43 am
I too loved that show, and the quote by Hank is lovely, made me really stop and think. I too like to talk out my processes and my husband is not a talker (either) so I wonder if he thinks of my talking as part of the silence…..nice context to put it all into.
Linz @ Itz Linz saysJuly 20, 2015 at 8:47 am
i love parenthood! i’m not caught up though as i don’t have tv anymore – i totally agree with you and sometimes the silence is needed for me just as much as everyone else!
firstname.lastname@example.org saysJuly 20, 2015 at 9:00 am
Carla, I’ve never seen the show. Sounds like I need to get started!
Maureen saysJuly 20, 2015 at 9:20 am
Love this! I tend to be a talk it out person and sometimes just need somebody there for me to work my problems out on. I truly love your perspective on this!
Chris saysJuly 20, 2015 at 9:38 am
I worry often that The Hubs thinks i’m never listening. He’s a “yammerer” too and in the earlier days of our relationship when we’d snuggle into the wee hours I would often fall asleep, ear to his chest, listening to his voice.
I asked him if it hurt his feelings when I’d fall asleep while he was mid-sentence. He brushed it off – I think it DID, at least a little, hurt his feelings. Until I explained:
“Your voice calms me like a lullaby. It makes me feel happy, safe and warm. I never want you to stop talking and I never want to interrupt.”
Dr. J saysJuly 20, 2015 at 9:45 am
I can certainly relate, Carla, though I find it in movies more than TV series. I do find meditation in the voice and delivery of others, and sometimes just watching them do something with focused intent.
Biz saysJuly 20, 2015 at 10:45 am
I had to laugh because my Mom told me about Parenthood long ago and I was like “nah.” Then on a car trip I binge watched 7 episodes and fell in love. I need to pick it back up – and most likely will this winter. I am still only on the second season!
Carla saysJuly 21, 2015 at 4:29 am
Thats so so so how I was as well. OH NO THANK YOU BUT YOU ENJOY YOUR DRAMA WHICH WOULD DEPRESS ME! ILL BE OVER HERE WITH SHAHS OF SUNSET 🙂
Bonnie Lang saysJuly 20, 2015 at 11:20 am
What a neat line to pick up on! I love that concept. There are times I fall asleep instantly on road trips and times I’m talking the whole time – I’m definitely a verbal processor, so I connect in that sense.
Also, I TOTALLY related to each character at different times in the same way, and man I love the character of Crosby! I think they were all so real and it just shows life – messy life as it is, family issues and life issues and the good and the bad – and I just loved it so much. 🙂 (and did you like that it was set in Berkeley?!)
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table saysJuly 20, 2015 at 11:23 am
This reminds me of a line I once read:
“If every word I said could make you laugh, I would talk forever.”
Adela saysJuly 20, 2015 at 2:52 pm
I love “Parenthood.” I think I cried every episode. Most episodes Loved-One did, too. I happen to be one of those people who mulls things over inside. Once I told a dear friend that being with her was as nice as being alone. She knew exactly what I meant. No pressure, no expectation, just being.
I love the final episode of Parenthood. I think it’s the best Series finale ever.
Jody - Fit at 57 saysJuly 20, 2015 at 3:03 pm
I am not familiar with the show or character or saying but reading your post – I love it… I think some talk & do not listen but I also think others are the voice is part of the silence. We just have to know how to separate those two. 🙂
I am often a listener so I get that end of it… 🙂
Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home saysJuly 20, 2015 at 3:54 pm
Oh Carla…my oldest son, 17 year old and going on 2, barely talks to me. But every once in a while he just talks on and on…and I just hang out and listen. A few weeks ago, I got up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water, and he was just getting home. He was really talkative, and even though I was tired and had to get up early for work, I stayed in the kitchen and listened.
Love this post.
Carla saysJuly 21, 2015 at 4:28 am
ahhh the gift of not adopting our daughter when I was YOUNG YOUNG is I can entirely imagine that as well. The chatter disappearing. The HOLDING ON TO THE SMALLEST OF SHARED SENTENCES…
Erin Kreitz Shirey saysJuly 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm
I love that you are now Team Braverman. I love my kids talking forever. My oldest has been a storyteller forever. I love just listening. Today, when on an adventure walk, she joked about kissing a boy for the first time over Summer when visiting her Grandparents. I died thinking she didn’t tell me first…to which she said, “Mom, I tell you everything. I promise to always! I swear!”. Then middle daughter chimes in, “Mom, you know we LIKE to talk and promise to always tell you EVERY part of our day. Forever.” Heart melted. Holding them to the promie. 😉
Laura @FitMamaLove saysJuly 20, 2015 at 4:24 pm
I freaking love that show and my husband couldn’t stand it! I marathon watched all but the last season because Netflix didn’t have it. Do they have it now???? I’m dying to watch the final season, but haven’t checked in awhile!
Carla saysJuly 21, 2015 at 4:27 am
Alas NO! I purchased it all on itunes (shhh :-))
Tamara saysJuly 20, 2015 at 8:09 pm
I love our interpretation of it (and your husband’s comment during your road trips). As much as I sometimes feel like I need a break from three very talkative children, I realized recently, when the youngest (and ‘talkiest’ was away), that their chatter does calm and ground me. I’m avoiding thinking what it will be like when they all grow up and leave home (my hubby is not much of a chatter… 😉 )
Tamara saysJuly 20, 2015 at 8:10 pm
Edited ‘our’ to ‘your’ (but I really do think the same way as you on this one 🙂 )
cheryl saysJuly 20, 2015 at 8:24 pm
I try to only talk if I have truly something to say- and it’s the same with my hubby. We sometimes ride for miles (bike) without uttering a word and just enjoying each other’s company. If someone’s “chatter” has become part of the silence- then no one is really listening to what they are sharing. Comforting-sure. Used to it- sure- but substance ? Probably not.
I have worked with students on the spectrum for many years…Asperger is not in the current DSM-V , so not a term to be used anymore-
Carla saysJuly 21, 2015 at 4:27 am
INTERESTING as I was simply using the terminology of the show —super careful to mimic that. What would you say/use now?
Carolann saysJuly 20, 2015 at 9:03 pm
Great post! I love it when my kids open up and talk to me about “stuff” . I feel so connected to them when they do. I miss it when they don’t!
Yum Yucky saysJuly 21, 2015 at 12:47 pm
I love to hear my little ones tell me their stories. In fact, I’m suddenly craving one now and plan to get me a story when I’m home this evening. Now my heart is full of happy.
Stephanie @ Athlete at Heart saysJuly 21, 2015 at 12:53 pm
I am also a talker… a yammer-er… a process-my-thoughts-out-loud person. I completely agree with you. I would take these statements as the highest form of love. I yearn for someone who listens and is relaxed and takes comfort in me being me in this way. I wonder, actually, if someone does feel that way but has never expressed it to me like that. I hope so.
Adjusted Reality saysJuly 21, 2015 at 9:10 pm
Awww, I really like this! I often say that being with my husband is like being alone, and I can see how someone might take that as an insult, but I mean it as the highest compliment. I feel like I can be completely myself, do whatever I want, say whatever I want, relax, recharge, destress, and be content about worry. So he is also my silence. Most of the time. 🙂
Abby @ BackAtSquareZero saysJuly 21, 2015 at 9:20 pm
I have never watched Parenthood, but now I really want to binge watch it.
Valerie saysJuly 22, 2015 at 4:51 am
Oh. This is beautiful. Treasuring silence as I do, this would be the highest of compliments.
Martin McAlister saysJuly 23, 2015 at 7:57 am
Thanks for sharing, also you are so fit ! great job !
Jess @hellotofit saysJuly 23, 2015 at 11:10 am
I appreciate your ability to challenge my way of thinking! I like the phrase, and I love reading about your experiences with your family!