During the episode of Modern Family that aired on May 11th of this year, Claire Dunphy became so tired of being the disciplinarian in the family that she decided to switch roles with her husband, Phil. It didn’t take long for her to learn that being the fun parent wasn’t as easy as it looked. Phil was also in for a rude awakening when he took the role of bad cop to the extreme after his daughters tried to trick him into thinking that they had cleaned their bathroom. In the end, both parents realized that they were paired up for a reason, and by trying to squeeze into the other parent’s shoes, everyone felt their pain.
Bill is the good cop in our family. It’s not that I never let our girls off easy. It’s just that extending grace comes more naturally to him. So does having fun. While I am known for organizing outings where Katie and Hollie get to play with other kids, Bill takes them to the local go-kart track and other places where they can have fun together.
Sometimes I envy his role and how easy it is for him to fill it, especially when my good intentions go unnoticed. Like the time I arranged to have several families from our neighborhood meet the girls and I at a play center filled with wall-to-wall inflatable slides, jumps, and obstacle courses. When it was time to leave, I realized that Hollie had no idea I planned the get-together when she commented on what a coincidence it was that people she knew kept “showing up.”
Knowing what it’s like to be unappreciated and overlooked makes me wonder if this is how God must feel whenever we curse Him for consequences brought on ourselves or take credit for blessings that He has bestowed. It also makes me empathize with the Modern Family mom who wanted to be known, if only for a while, as the fun parent. Like Claire, I will never be as good in the role as my spouse. That’s okay because God created me to excel in other ones.
Actress Sofia Vergara said it best when she ended the episode with the following words of wisdom: “Maybe we are the way we are because of the people we are with. Or maybe we just pick the people we need. However it works, when you find each other, you should never let go.”