'How I Met Your Mother' recap: Family

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Image Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS

I hate to say it, but I feel more and more like this season of How I Met Your Mother is going to be the last. Why? Because more and more I see the gang preparing for real life in some pretty profound ways. (Real life = when every day seems filled with eights and higher.)

Tonight’s “Who Wants to be a Godparent?” for example, dealt with death, specifically Lily and Marshall’s. They began to wonder what would happen to Marvin if they ever weren’t around to take care of him. Who would teach him life’s important lessons? (The birds and the bees, how to take responsibility, how to deal with heartache…) One thing they both agreed on? Their parents weren’t the right ones for the job.

But they had three solid candidates. So they did the sensible thing: THEY HELD A COMPETITION!

What followed felt like old, pre-Marvin times. Ted was the responsible-yet-square guardian, who taught using puppets. Robin was the tough love giver, who advocated sending Marvin to the British Columbia Military School for Boys, where she went to school. (Line of the night, by the way? Robin’s take on bow hunting: “At the British Columbia Military School for Boys we called it ‘making lunch.'”) And Barney was downright ridiculous in the way we totally expect him to be. (‘Fess up, boys: Who owns a reversible belt?)

Then, reality check. This wasn’t the old times. And everyone’s true feelings about their post-Marvin relationship came out. Robin, Barney and Ted were sad that they couldn’t talk to Marshall and Lily anymore like they used to. Marshall and Lily wanted their friends to understand that they had to put Marvin first.

I don’t have kids — neither do any of my very closest friends — so I don’t exactly know how to look at the situation. They both had a point, and I hope that when my friends and I reach that point, we learn each other’s middle ground. The problem up to that point was that both sides hadn’t even tried to seek out a middle ground.

Eventually they did, though. They are, after all, family. And in the end they made it official: If something ever happened to Marshall and Lily, Marvin would go to all three of them. Sigh.

It’s tiny moments like this that will make me miss How I Met Your Mother so deeply when it’s gone — whenever that may be. I guess it just hit me especially hard tonight because the episode really felt like a little piece of a goodbye, and it’s only going to get harder. Because, I repeat, friends are family. If 8 seasons of How I Met Your Mother haven’t taught you that, you haven’t been paying attention.

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