It was late Monday night, and my 3-week-old daughter, Danielle, was fast asleep. So I turned on “The Lucy Show” with Lucille Ball.
On the TV show, Lucie Arnaz (Lucille Ball’s daughter in real life), announced that she was going to leave home. That’s when I began to cry.
I called my friend, Doreen Klee, and told her between tears and gasps of breath that that’s what Danielle was going to do. Dee, a practical and funny mom, brought me back to earth with: “I’d wait until she can at least feed and dress herself first.”
This scenario now reminds me of how my Mom, Milly Fiet, must have felt when I left home when I was 21. My family planned to move down South while I chose to stay in New York.
I saw this scenario thru a different lens when Mrs. Cunningham (played by Marion Ross), on the TV show “Happy Days,” felt life has passed her by. Her children are growing up, and she feels like she’s not needed. So, Mrs. C turns to Fonzie (Henry Winkler), whose apartment is above the Cunninghams’ garage, for a sympathetic ear.
It’s odd how often everyday things remind me of my Mom, who passed in 2001. Too many times, I’ve seen a TV Mom or a skit that hits too close to home and thought of my Mom. Mrs. C. “gave up her secretarial job in order to become a stay-at-home mother and take care of her children, Richie and Joanie,” according to Access Hollywood’s Top 20 TV Moms of All Time.
Our house in North Syracuse, N.Y., like the Cunninghams’, was a kid magnet. Mom’s desserts were one attraction. Her sympathetic ear was another. Kids could always count on her to listen attentively to their troubles.
My Mom might be surprised that another TV mom also echoes memories of my childhood. Marge Simpson of “The Simpsons.” Think her high blue coiffure is bad? You should have seen the haircut I gave my Mom – at her encouragement. As a teen, I was confident I could do a layered cut. Boy, was I wrong.
I felt awful. Mom never complained. But she did wear a hat every time she left the house until her hair grew out.
Mom was like Marge Simpson in another way, too. Marge “instills morals, and provides a grounding voice in the midst of her family’s antics,” according to Access. Check. That’s my Mom to a “T.”
Moms. When it’s done right, moms have a tough job, whether they’re stay-at-home working moms, or working-outside-the-home moms.
So here’s to all moms. Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 13th and every day.
* Main photo: My Mom, Milly Fiet, when she was 22, and me when I was 6 months old.
* Photo: Marion Cunningham (Marion Ross) and The Fonz (Henry Winkler) on the TV show “Happy Days.” http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Happy_Days_Fonzie_and_Mrs_C_1977.JPG
* Photo: The Cunningham family on the TV show “Happy Days.” http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cunningham_family_Happy_Days_1974.JPG
* Drawing of Marge Simpson of the TV show “The Simpsons.” http://www.accesshollywood.com/access-top-20-tv-moms-of-all-time_gallery_2264/image_108501
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