Incredible Mom, Incredible Wife, Incredible Life

Helen Parr MatchmakerBrad Bird may not be a household name, but you know his work. Touted by some as “the modern-day Walt Disney” and considered to be one of the smartest people in Hollywood, he is the creative force behind Ratatouille, The Simpsons, and The Incredibles. He is married with three children. In fact, Bird based the story of The Incredibles on his own experiences trying to balance a career with family.

Ranking #40 on the Top 100 Grossing Movies of All Time ($261,437,578), it was the first Pixar film to feature a nuclear family (mother, father, children) that stays intact throughout the movie. The film reminds me of The Fantastic Four, but more specifically, of my Fantastic Four. The glue that holds The Incredibles together is Helen Parr, or Elastigirl. She is smart, capable funny and cool, and she’s also a dedicated wife and mother. She reminds me of my own wife, Amy, who is the glue that holds us together. Like Elastigirl, Amy is the ultimate juggler, taking on more work than most. She goes from morning ’til night, somehow stretching to fit everything in: caring for two young children (and a 51 year-old-boy!), caring for our octogenarian mothers, working as a Medical Technologist at the hospital, and keeping our household running smoothly. Multi-tasking and flexibility are two of her greatest superpowers.

Incredible Family MatchmakerBoth Elastigirl and Amy have it all under control and they’re always happy to save the day – every day. She’s not just an amazing mother; Amy is also a supportive partner. She gracefully handles the stress, hours and travel that come with my life as an entrepreneur, and she also supports my weekend hobby. How many other Supermoms would encourage their husbands to head out to play with their band almost every Friday night?

If you haven’t seen the movie, you should. The Incredibles have to live life undercover as civilians. Elastigirl (Helen) permanently assumes her secret identity and becomes a homemaker who does her best to unify her family and help them adjust to a normal life. She only uses her super powers in private for convenience. She is content in her life, finding purpose and fulfillment in caring for and raising a family.

However, her husband, who is ironically named Bob, does not adjust well to civilian life. He escapes the monotony of his seemingly average life by sneaking out with his best friend to secretly continue hero work. But his undercover shenanigans land him in a pickle and it takes his wife and family to save him. In the end, Bob sees that the real source of his power is his extraordinary family. I couldn’t agree more!

Some of the best dialogue in the film happens, not between Helen and Bob, but between Bob’s best friend Lucius (aka Frozone) and his wife, Honey:

Lucius: Honey?
Honey: What?
Lucius: Where’s my super suit?
Honey: I, uh, put it away.
Lucius: Where?
Honey: Why do you need to know?
Lucius: I need it! [Lucius rummages through another room in his condo] Honey: Uh-uh! Don’t you think about running off doing no daring-do. We’ve been planning this dinner for two months!
Lucius: The public is in danger!
Honey: My evening’s in danger!
Lucius: You tell me where my suit is, woman! We are talking about the greater good!
Honey: ‘Greater good?’ I am your wife! I’m the greatest *good* you are ever gonna get!

Celebrate the ‘greater good’ this weekend and take the mothers in your life to dinner,
Happy Mother’s Day!