'Kate Plus 8' Series Finale Recap: Kate Doesn't Hate Jon

kate plus 8It's over! Kate Plus 8 is officially no more, and after watching the series finale, I can't bring myself to question Kate's judgment or analyze her mothering skills or pick apart the demise of her marriage. No, I'm too busy being sad.

Call me a sap if you must (wouldn't be the first time somebody accused me of being overly sentimental), but seeing all the clips from over the years, hearing Kate and the kids talk about their experiences ... well, it got to me. I have the same wistful, empty feeling I get when I watch home videos of my kids (who are around the same ages as the Gosselins): They grow up so fast.


More often than not, we (like Kate) are too busy changing diapers and packing lunches and making sure childhood happens the way it's supposed to that we don't even notice how quickly it's passing, and that's a heartbreaking realization to make.

Seeing Jon lift the babies out of their cribs, all pajamas and big toothless grins ... awww. They'll never be that little again! Little Aaden having his "special day" at the farm, peering through those big glasses trying to see sheep through the car window ... Leah breaking the news to the camera in her tiny voice: "Hannah pooped." Christmas morning ... it's all over in the blink of an eye. And as a mom, that just kills me.

Then of course -- actually, I guess I am going to delve into the Kate/Jon marriage stuff -- there were the painful moments from the time when the Gosselins were splitting up. Kate talking about the little kids' 5th birthday party, in particular, was a tearjerker. The photo from the party of the kids sitting on a bench with Jon and Kate posed like bookends at opposite sides was "our last family picture," Kate pointed out, her eyes welling up. What was going on behind the scenes "stole the joy out of my kids' birthday," she said.

Any parent who's been through a divorce knows exactly the feeling Kate is talking about, and I don't care who's right or who's been wronged, that is an anguish I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

I have nothing against Jon; in fact, watching the clips from the old shows reminded me how much I used to like him. He loves his kids, there's no doubt about that. Both of them do. And when they showed the part from the trip to Hawaii/vow renewal episode where Kate and Jon promised the kids that mommy and daddy would be together forever, no matter what? I cried. How could you not??

Maybe if you haven't been through a divorce yourself, or aren't a child of divorce, you'd be able to maintain your composure through scenes like that. But if you have, damn! It really hits a nerve. And that's why I can't judge Kate. Say what you will about the money and the media and everything else, she's suffered some serious pain. So has Jon, and so have the kids. Kate said during the finale that she doesn't hate Jon; she has no malice towards him. Of course she doesn't. He's the father of her children, and she will always, on some level, love him for that.

And so I hope that the Gosselins are able to heal as they move on. To heal, and to be happy, and to find love.

What would you like to see the Gosselins do next?


Image via TLC

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