The Bates family makes having 19 kids seem like a lot of fun most of the time. But they don't sugarcoat those terrifying moments, made all the more terrifying by the fact that there are 21 people to account for (including Gil and Kelly Jo).
Such was the case tonight on Bringing Up Bates when a fire broke out in the laundry room of the family home. Unfortunately, despite their family fire safety talks, the little boys, Judson and Jeb thought it would be an OK idea to play with a lighter, and things quickly got out of hand. And by out of hand, I mean the two kids almost burned down the whole house.
Luckily, everyone got out safely, and it was really only the laundry room that was destroyed.
Still, I had a healthy flashback to Manchester by the Sea while watching the episode, and it made my stomach churn to even know a glimmer of the panic Kelly Jo and Gil must have felt before they knew all their children were safe and sound.
Also, and this is just slightly off topic, but I absolutely loved seeing how in love Gil and Kelly Jo were on tonight's show. They always talk so wonderfully about marriage, but it was really nice to see an expression of that when the pair were reunited after five days apart. Gil was so cute talking about how excited he was to see his wife and explaining that very few times in their marriage had they been apart for so long. It gave me hope knowing that after so many decades together, these two are still like little school kids buzzing around before Christmas when they get to see one another.
I'm sure the fire also helped fuel their love for one another. After a scary incident like that it's only natural that you would lean on your partner for comfort and security.
I think this was also the first time in the Bringing Up Bates' history that we got to hear Gil's scary voice as he lectured Jeb and Judson about fire safety and the danger of playing with lighters. He's such an incredible dad, and he did such an amazing job of blending that tough-guy attitude with reassurances that he loves both of them very, very much.
All in all, the Bates may have lost some clothes (some might be an understatement... with a family that big, it's lots and lots of clothes), but they're all coming out wiser and closer for this experience.
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