One of my favorite movies is one that may not have been critically acclaimed or awarded an Oscar, but one that struck some cord with me as a kid of the 80’s. Even when I watch it as an adult, I still laugh at the lame jokes, appreciate the era it was from, and understand a bit more of the dialogue since its release thirty years ago.
The movie is Mr. Mom (1983):
Michael Keaton plays the role of a laid off car engineer in the Midwest during the early eighties. Before he can find another job, his wife, a stay-at-home mom of three, finds a job in an advertising firm. Keaton ends up staying at home with the kids, which lands him in such foreign environments like a grocery store, the school parking lot, and the laundry room. In the 80’s, it was apparently comedy to think that a man would have to cook dinner, change a diaper, or (!gasp!) multi-task. Pandemonium ensues, followed by a bout of depression (a flannel shirt, Lite beer and soap operas were involved). The show ends with a dramatic turnaround in his parenting skills, proving for all time that dads (in most cases) can, in fact, be trusted with children and menial household chores.
As Jessi embarks on the pursuit of her dream of earning a PhD in Political Science down at the U of U, this time gives me a slightly new opportunity to be even more involved in Jack’s day-to-day happenings. I wouldn’t call it being Mr. Mom since I will continue to work full-time, but maybe just more of the lead parenting role with a big supporting cast (Jessi’s parents, a caretaker, preschool three days a week, and lots of long weekend visits from momma). I start out way ahead of Keaton in Mr. Mom given my already-frequent trips to grocery stores, laundry rooms and school parking lots. I think I will skip the recycled flannel shirt, cheap beer and bad day-time TV dramas. Aside from missing Jessi lots, I believe Jack and I will manage the eight months well without burning down the house.This new, but temporary, responsibility is one that marks an exciting chapter for our small family - one that we will always look back on as a time when we all had big changes, but changes that produced big results all around for the Bennions.