Strange title, huh? No worries, I’m not getting cryptic on you and speaking in code; there is an explanation…please read on, my friends! On Wednesday night we got a sneak peek of the show that is being produced to document the first year of life for the Jones family, AFF (After Fab Five). And what a year it was, right? From the birth of five babies in less than five minutes all the way to the first birthday party – 12 months which at times seemed like 12 eternities – it was all there as if we were living it again…only this time set to music. Most of the important parts were there, at least. The chaos that ruled our lives was as evident on screen as it has been on our hearts during this topsy-turvy whirlwind of a year. And watching the drama unfold on-screen, watching these five little lives profoundly transform all of the bigger lives around them, and knowing that this was your reality was…..
Difficult…at times. Fun at other times. Absolutely jaw-dropping in others. I’m not making this up – though we lived this and felt this and knew exactly the ins and outs of these lives we were watching, there were times that my jaw literally dropped in disbelief and the memory rolodex in my brain whirred into action as it fervently flipped from record to record, verifying what I already knew to be true.
There are those who knew in advance that we were going to see the show for the first time and they were eager to get our impression of what we saw. Because there were no raves and likewise no rants, unfortunately, I think we let them down. Do not get the wrong impression – there is nothing wrong with what we saw and we have no issues with the show. But we honestly had and are still having a tough time describing how we feel about what we saw during the 00:42:00 in which we were glued to the TV. Minutes, that is. That’s what the title means – our 2009 was condensed down to 00:42:00 for the sake of a reality TV show…technically a documentary. Can you imagine telling the story – the whole story, for better or for worse, holding back few intimate details – of any of your years past, hitting all of the highs and the lows and some of the in-betweens? Now pick your best year and tell that story. And after that, pick your worst year, your most stressful one and your most joyful and tell those. Now can you imagine combining all of that, the best and the worst, the high and the low, and doing it in 00:42:00? And one more thing – can you imagine taking all of that and giving it to relative strangers and asking them to tell the story instead? Only this time set it to music…
I really think we will end up loving the show. After we watch it a few more times and we get to see the final version (we were watching a cut that was maybe 90% complete), I think it will cease to be a bit overwhelming and I believe it will become a bit comforting, if not very much so, especially as the abstract tempest of our times slows to a summer breeze with occasional showers.
These relative strangers who are telling the story of our 2009 (who have become good friends, by the way) accepted a difficult task when they signed on to tell the story of this 2009. At least in our eyes it was a challenge. 00:42:00 – That’s all they were given to tell you the story of a family population explosion and of all of the ups, downs, ins, and outs that came along with it. Make no mistake about it – they clearly presented the reality of our life; there is little time for fluff and cutesy baby stuff. And drama? Absolutely…more than enough (cute little rhyme I just wove in there, huh? ;-)).
To the casual observer who knows little about us, I think you’ll like the show. To those who know us best, I think you will too, but your initial reaction is likely to be as mixed as ours. It was a great year, it was a tough year and as such, ‘Too Many Babies?’ reflects that reality very, very well.