When we get together with couples about to become parents, we talk about many things. These include prioritising their relationship with God, prioritising their marriage, trusting themselves as new parents, managing their relationships with their own parents, and thinking about their new roles as ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’.
One specific thing we talk about is the risk of always looking forward to the next stage, rather than finding the positives in the stage you are in. Those “I wish they could talk”, “I wish they were at school”, “I wish we could skip the tantrums” thoughts. All very understandable and thoughts many of us will have had at some time or another.
One of the suggestions to bring this home is to watch the movie Click. If you find yourself often wishing this too would pass, have a look at it. It’s a pretty good example of what would happen if you really could skip ahead. Michael Newman (Adam Sandler) is struggling to balance all that life holds with a young family, and a busy job. One night, a kind stranger offers him a ‘universal remote’ to help him control his life. To his amazement, and excitement, the remote actually controls time. He can skip arguments, mute his wife’s complaining and fast forward to when a project is completed without actually doing the work. In time, however, it becomes clear that the remote ‘learns’, so the things he skips become skipped regularly – times of intimacy, resolution of problems, years of work. In time, the things that Michael misses become more and more extreme and in the end, decades pass with him essentially functioning on autopilot. It is clear that he has become trapped by his own choices.
At one level, it’s a pretty depressing film, and it has all the usual crassness of most Sandler offerings so you certainly won’t agree with or even like parts of it, but it certainly makes you question your life’s priorities. It’s worth watching and then thinking about where your life tends to function on auto pilot and anything you might like to think about changing.