Too Exhausted to Pretend

jonkate8_s12One of the greatest reasons (and there are only a few) to watch television is a show on TLC called, “Jon & Kate plus 8”. Stick with me here, I’m going somewhere with this…

Here’s the Wiki entry: “Jon & Kate Plus 8 is a reality television show produced in the United States by Figure 8 Films about the Gosselin family, consisting of parents Jon and Kate and their eight children — a set of fraternal twin girls and a set of sextuplets (three girls and three boys). The show follows the family through their daily lives, focusing on the challenges of raising multiple children. The show originally aired on Discovery Health but starting with Season 3, airs on TLC. It also is consistently one of the highest rated shows on TLC. The family originally appeared in a one-hour special titled Surviving Sextuplets and Twins. The family currently lives in Wernersville, Pennsylvania.”

Every episode is a candid look at a normally dysfunctional family that is learning to live together. What I love about this show and the Gosselins is that it’s a perfect picture of a family who are not perfect but have chosen the path of Love. We get to watch them make mistakes, say dumb things, do dumb things, hurt each other, make each other mad, neglect each other and divide their attention between 8 kids and two parents. We also get to see them get it right – a lot, say brilliant things, intuitively make brilliant decisions, say “sorry”, make each other laugh and smile, and multiply their love for each other so much that it overflows on people around them.

If you’d like to see how a family who follow Jesus ought to live – perfectly imperfect, messy and loud – check this show out. They understand that it’s not about perfection, even though Kate can be pretty detail oriented and type A. They understand it’s not about just getting by, even though Jon can be even more laid back than me sometimes (is that type Z?). The beautiful thing is that they are honest with all of this, speak openly of all that’s imperfect at the same time they embrace all that’s good and wonder full and miraculous about this life, this story, they find themselves in. It’s a gift to be real, it’s a gift to be able to give up on some reputation you’d like to have or think you have, in order to be who you really are.

The thing that about this show that fills me up and makes me laugh with joy when I watch is that they are who they are and are so busy raising 8 kids they’ve given up the hard work of pretending to be anything else. 8 kids is the best way I can think of to come so undone that being real has to do. I have friends who’ve gone there through loss, pain, gross self-destructive behaviour and dark depression. I’ll take 8 kids over all the above but I won’t think for one second it’s an easier way, just better. I love that unlike a lot of reality TV, and a lot of church goers, the Gosselins have actually chosen to be real.

Now, if I can just convince the elusive Donna to add 5 more…


About brianmpei

Stumbling towards what comes next.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Church, Confession, denial, Family, Life, media, perception, reality, Relationship, religion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Too Exhausted to Pretend

  1. BrianD says:

    If you decide to have quints, I think I can help come up with some creative names.

    I like that show as well, and for the same reasons. I really enjoy being friends with people that don’t pretend to be something they are not. They are who they are and you either like them or not. If you choose to be friends with them, it makes their day. If you choose not, that’s okay with them. They won’t change to make you like them. I have some very good friends like that, and they remind me of my parents in so many ways.

  2. PEGGY says:


  3. brianmpei says:

    Peggy, I think safety is important. But I don’t think it should come first. But I come from a generation that never wore helmets, even when we jumped off make-shift ramps with our bikes ala Kneivel. We didn’t use bacterial soap, drank out of the garden hose and played outside in our neighbourhood until my parent’s flashed the porch light or yelled my name into the humid, summer night air without anyone knowing where we were or what we were up to.

    Life is too safe – or so it seems to me.

  4. Lindsay says:

    I love that show! Phil and I started watching right around the time we found out we were expecting… had a minor case of panic when we realized that there were no guarantees that we’d have just one! Thankfully we had no worries in the end 🙂

  5. brianmpei says:

    You two have a beautiful daughter Lindsay, you could probably have an entertaining reality show between the three of you!

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