October 19, 2014

Your Kids Come First: Blended (2014)

Let me just say, I don't have kids. However, I am someone's kid and one day I hope to have kids. I also feel very strongly about the wonderful gift that is parenting. I guess I got this way as a result of my childhood. While growing up, every time my parents showed up for me or fell short of doing so I took all of those experiences in and decided very early on that I wanted my future kids to feel as though they were my number one least 99 percent of the time, just like in the movie Blended (2014).

In the movie Blended (2014), two single parents, Lauren Reynolds (Drew Barrymore) and Jim Friedman (Adam Sandler) are doing the best they can in an attempt to raise their children on their own; although both seem to overcompensate for their children's other absentee parent. Lauren has two boys that somehow she struggles to help them address their masculine side, while Jim has three girls that are in desperate need of a women's influence. Don't get me wrong, both parents are doing a fine job on their own, but I think one of the points of the movie was to demonstrate the importance of both a masculine and feminine influences on a child during their upbringing. For example, Jim has to go shopping for feminine hygiene products for his teenage daughter and doesn't know what type to buy, that is until he bumps into Lauren, who is in the same drugstore perusing the magazines so she could replace her son's centerfold that she ripped up when she first discovered it.

However, it wasn't until their vacation to South Africa, that they both began to realize what the other person brought to the table with respect to parenting styles as well as femininity and masculinity. It was also during the vacation in South Africa that both Lauren and Jim began to connect with each other in an authentic way in addition to connecting with each other's children. In particular, there was even a moment during the last night on vacation where they both shared a fundamental agreement that their kids come first. As if we didn't see the ending coming from a mile away, that moment sealed their fate as a couple.

By the end of the movie, it was clear that both Lauren's and Jim's kids were not only getting along with each other but were also growing more and more attached to both Lauren and Jim.  This then helped Lauren and Jim to see the potential in each other and endeared them to each other even more, which even then was yet another demonstration of them putting their kids needs ahead of their own. Even though they were characters in a movie, I liked Lauren and Jim and feel we all can learn from their motto and be the kind of parents that put our kids first, because as the saying goes: there is no greater work than raising kids.

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