Merry-go-round

The movie Parenthood is one of my favorites. Despite being from the ’80s, it still holds up. (Every so often, I like to have “Dysfunctional Family Movie Week,” point being to laugh, cry and show the kids that plenty of people’s families are crazy – and it’s OK. Top of the list: Parenthood, Little Miss Sunshine and Pieces of April.)

Near the end of Parenthood is this scene:

[Gil has been complaining about his complicated life; Grandma wanders into the room]
Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster.
Gil: Oh?
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride!
Gil: What a great story.
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.

It’s a metaphor. Get it? Of course. But Gil doesn’t at first, which upsets his unplannedly pregnant wife.

Karen: I happen to LIKE the roller coaster, okay? As far as I’m concerned, your grandmother is brilliant.

Point made. Point taken. And I love rollercoasters. But man, oh, man, could I use a week on the merry-go-round about now. From morning till night, we are going going going, up and down, whipping around corners until my stomach hurts.

For a couple hours, I dipped into sleep. Now I’m listening to the click, click, click of the chain as we move slowly up the next hill. Hopefully at the top, Nick’s blood sugar will read between 100 and 150.

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