I need you so much closer

So there is this show that I watch called Parenthood. It’s on NBC and if you ever get the chance to watch it from the beginning, you should. It’s an incredible show about the love and challenges that a family can provide for us. It’s a big messy family that all live near each other and have so many intertwined stories and lives that it wouldn’t be easy for me to give you a synapsis of who is who and their life struggles at the moment. For this post all you need to know that it is a family of two parents, four adult children and their significant others and a total of seven grandchildren.
One of my favorite parts of this show is that whoever picks the music for the show nails it every time. EVERY single time – the song fits the moment perfectly. It’s the little moments of joy or sadness that make me cry with the perfect guitar strums and lyrics that cut into my heart. Yes, this show makes me cry … a lot. Almost weekly.
A couple of weeks ago one of the stories showed a triumph for one family with a son who has a form of autism. The series has watched the parents of this young boy struggle with the diagnosis and treatment of their son. In this particular episode it becomes clear that Max (the son) is being bullied at school but doesn’t mind so much when he finds a friend who shares in his struggles. At the end of the episode, Max invites this friend over and this friends parents come with him to give Max’s parents instructions on caring for their son. The two sets of parents stand in the foyer and have a moment of understanding for the other family’s struggles dealing with disability. Not in a patronizing way but in a way that they are both so glad to finally find someone that understands.
This is when you slowly hear the opening strums Ian Brit’s “The Shape of Us.”
This song is beautiful. It’s soft, melodic and simple. Guitar, bass and what sounds like a drum box. One line that gets me from the verse says, “we’ve got all the strength we need in the shape of us, in the shape of us The chorus says: “Hold my hand, hold my heart, Let go of your fears, darling I will always be here.” Basically the whole song is about fighting the hardships of the world with someone(s) by your side.
Another great moment comes from a different family in the show. Julia and her husband have been trying so hard to have a second child. When they discover they can’t get pregnant again they encounter a young pregnant girl who agrees to let them adopt her unborn son. After a long pregnancy where the girl moves in with Julia and her family, Zoey gives birth to her son and decides to keep him. Before Julia even tells her husband and their daughter she sneaks away from everyone, into an empty hospital room and cries her eyes out. This is so perfectly set to the tune of “Transatlanticism” by Death Cab For Cutie.
Once again, it’s soft at first and all you can really make out between Julia’s sobs is the perfect repeated line “I need you so much closer.” I instantly ran to my computer to hear this song in its entirety and it’s the tale of being far away from the ones you love and needing them near you to take on the battle.
I know what you’re thinking… it’s just another drawn out TV drama where everything that can go bad will go bad just to make good ratings. And that’s probably true. But the characters are so real, the acting is actually quite good and the scenarios draw from real life without pounding you every single episode (cough.glee.cough).
And maybe it’s just the incredibly high emotion week I just had or maybe it’s the fact that I feel incredibly thankful for the people in my life right now. But I’m realizing more and more that life is made up of the people you are surrounded by, whether by choice or by blood. Life is characterized by who you choose to let into your life to fight the battles with, to laugh with, to study with, to encounter God with, to cry with, to process with, to watch crappy tv with, to drink coffee with, to not drink coffee with, to learn from and to walk with.
Living life with people is messy, really messy at times. But at the end of the day it is extremely rewarding to have someone in your corner and to know that you’re in theirs too. To have someone(s) who will help you through this life on earth.

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