Dear Haddie Braverman (and NBC),
You are a spoiled brat.
You have no idea what you are asking of your parents. Yes, Cornell is a great accomplishment on your part. But decades of debt on the part of your parents is extraordinarily selfish.
Your parents should be saving for their retirement, but instead, they are sacrificing personal security, safety, and sleep so that you can go to the only school you feel is appropriate.
‘Cause Berkeley just isn’t good enough for you.
I’m angry at your selfishness. I’m angry at the writers who have drafted this script. I’m angry that 5 million people are being bamboozled into thinking that what your parents are doing is right and good and noble.
It isn’t. It’s crap.
Where’s the part where your parents are still working at the age of 70 and beyond because they can’t afford to retire? Where’s the part about how miserable you find New York in the wintertime? Where’s the part about an 18 year old learning that life isn’t always fair?
Giving our kids everything they want only makes our kids think they deserve everything they want. It creates a sense of entitlement. Then life happens twenty years down the road, and ships sink, and every man is for himself and no one is for anyone else.
Here’s the story line that would have been written had Parenthood been on thirty, or even twenty years ago.
You’d have a job already. You’d be working for your own pocket money. You’d apply to several colleges, and you’d talk it over with your parents, and you would all make a choice that was best. Not just for you – but for your family.
You would respect your parents’ advice. You wouldn’t take their financial support for granted, and you would work your way through college in four, five or six years. You would do “whatever it takes” – not your parents doing whatever it takes. You would do it and you would succeed by the power of your own purpose. Your success would be your own doing, not standing on the shoulders of your parents.
You would grow up a bit more and look back and realize just how extraordinarily difficult it was for your family to have a child with special needs like Max. And you would know that Nora was not their special way of punishing you, but just life happening the way it so often does: unexpectedly.
You would work hard for your own success and you would appreciate it because you earned it.
Just like I sing to my kids, and Jagger said it best: “You can’t always get what you want. But when you try, sometimes, you get what you need.”