I can’t watch Parenthood. That’s partly because I just can’t get jazzed up about spending an hour sobbing every week, but it’s also because, well, those Bravermans make me mad.

Not mad at them, really. But just a tiny bit mad at every person I’m related to, by blood or marriage or you’re-practically-family adoption. You know why? Because we never jump on a bounce house together.

Nor do we climb in trees together, dance in the kitchen together or walk in one big Braverman parade to trick or treat together.

What kind of family do I have, anyway??

I get that the extended family on the TV show Parenthood has its share of drama. But they also tend to work out their differences and challenges within 60 minutes – or at least before the season finale comes in May.

Real families aren’t really like that.

Our seasons often last longer than 23 episodes, and our challenges take more work than we could fit into one hour minus commercials. And while our version of dancing in the kitchen (a rowdy game of Yahtzee for us) may happen, it also doesn’t erase the tense shoulders, gritted teeth, escaped tears and harsh words that sometimes come with being related to people.

That’s not to say my family doesn’t love each other (we DO), and none of this means we’re any more dysfunctional than the average family not living in my television (we aren’t…most the time). We plan Easter egg hunts, we buy new puzzles for our Christmas/New Year’s brunch, we sit in hospital rooms together, we send birthday texts and Facebook messages, and we go to each other’s ball games and concerts every chance we get.

But it’s not quite as tied-up-in-a-bow as those families we see on TV or in the movies. Unless you count the Griswolds. Perhaps there’s a little bit of resemblance there…

I can’t watch Parenthood because it stirs up dissatisfaction with my own family – and all based on a fictional account of a fairy tale family dynamic that, honestly, I wouldn’t want even if it were real. So instead, I choose to be thankful for what I have. Because what I have is good, and what I have is real.

P.S. I challenged myself to write this post in less than 10 minutes, so obviously this is the 40,000-foot view of my complex family (whom I love very much).

What TV or movie family does your family resemble most?

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