How ‘This Is Us’ Nails the Life-Changing Magic of Becoming a Parent

this is us

this is us
Photo: NBC

Last night’s This Is Us.

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No words.

Except for the 500 or so I’m about to pour on this page.

If you watch the show, then you understand the depth and genius of the writing. And if you don’t watch we need to have an intervention with you because you are missing out on the theory of everything: love and connection.

I’m pretty sure even God has his feet up in a recliner on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m., eyes glued to the T.V. Can’t you hear him hooting and hollering,

“Yaaaaass! My children are grasping the whole purpose of life—relationships. Amen, brothers and sisters. This is what it’s all about. All of humanity linked together for better or worse, experiencing both joy and suffering “together.” Bravo, Dan Fogelman! For real. Because this show is the real deal. Pure magic. Teaching us what matters most by showing us the life we already live. Forcing us to contemplate why we: behave certain ways, react the way we do, long for specific things, hope, struggle, endure, dream, agonize, celebrate. What a gift.”

Yep. Pretty sure He’s said all those things. Especially last night. Which brings me to the purpose of this post.

this is us
Photo: NBC

In yesterday’s episode, a scene with Randall tipped the Richter scale of emotional intensity. Ok, let’s be real. Most scenes do this. But some are extra dramatic and on point…Randall’s trip to Home Depot one of them.

Randall is full of anxiety over the impending birth of his first child and on the brink of another breakdown while still trying to recover from his first emotional collapse two months prior. While looking for a replacement ceiling fan for the nursery, Randall starts unloading his fears about his ability to be a good father to the store employee, a total stranger. The show is brilliant in using the exchange to bring to light our stereotyping fouls as a people. When the employee asks Randall why he’s asking him for advice on becoming a new dad, Randall admits that he figured the man was wise because he was wearing a turban. Turns out he’s just a normal guy from East Trenton who gives Randall extraordinary and profound insight:

“What they don’t tell you is, babies come with all the answers.”

Yes, yes, yes to this truth.

“They look up at you, and you at them, and they tell you who you are. You’ll see. Tomorrow you will have all the answers.”

Oh my bleeding heart. Amen to these spoken words. I cheer-cried with both arms in the air. God love the writers of This Is Us.

What a snapshot of endearment in an episode full of feels and raw truths. The scene sent my mom heart into a deep dive.

Not only do our children tell us who we are at first gaze, but the story continues to unfold every day forward. Our kids teach, mold, renew, restore, transform, inspire, move, unfurl us into our true self with every passing moment and experience.

Because the real miracle of life is finding out who we are as a part of someone else. Parenthood is one magnificent way, but not the only one. Every person we meet, heart we connect with, soul we touch helps us know a little bit more about who we are as a part of humanity.

Which is the brilliance of this show. Each week we learn more and more through the characters on the screen the reality of our connectedness and oneness with each other and the entire world; all of creation. 

This Is Us proves this ‘universal togetherness’ is most definitely us.


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Shelby Spear
Shelby is a sappy soul whisperer, sarcasm aficionado, and pro-LOVE, Jesus adoring mom of 3 Millennials writing stuff & doing life with her hubby of 25 years. You can read her stories on her blog at shelbyspear.com, around the web, and in print at Guideposts. Shelby's new book, co-authored with Lisa Leshaw, is now available: How Are You Feeling, Momma? (You don't need to say, "I'm fine.")