I had an quirky childhood admittedly. What I didn’t realize is that aside from making great dinner party convo, was how much what I watched on t.v. as a child defined who I am today. As I watch t.v. with the girls I have to wonder, if you are what you watch, what will they become?
Let me explain, it’s easy to look at a snapshot & make the surface connection but courtesy of quarantine, I’ve been able to dig deeper. Now “dig if you will the picture..” (see what I did there) growing up in the decade of excess aka the 80’s as Type A personality child did some damage.
<Cue in “The Wonder Years” type of narration> Yes I remember cartoons on Saturday mornings in my early childhood but that was the 70’s. Sidebar I can taste the folded bread & butter sandwiches now. Don’t judge I’m sure you had an odd snack favorite. I saw enough of Hanna-Barbera to make schoolyard conversation and absolutely thought by now we’d be living like “The Jetsons”, but really I was all about the adult shows. To clarify, not the late night Skinamax peep through the squiggly lines kind.
My friends wanted to be Madonna, pro wrestlers or princesses. I wanted to be Murphy Brown (Murphy Brown) mixed with Alex P. Keaton (Family Ties) and a splash of Detective Andy Sipowicz (Hill Street Blues). That desire to be all things and at once fueled so much of my adult years. Just thinking about it is exhausting. I subscribed to the myth of multitasking. I thought that if I balanced everything and everyone, somehow that would balance me.
So that brings me back to my question, “If you are what you watch what will they become?” Question becomes awareness, awareness becomes intention and drumroll please…intention becomes action. What if we dead the desire of being these stoic t.v. characters? (I did have fun being Claire Huxtable via TikTok but I digress) What if we allow our children to see the multidimensional, tired but never quitting, laughing, crying, sometimes (ok for me like all the time) swearing, far from perfect but always in awe of who they are, parents?
Trust me, I get how clutch iPads are during zoom meetings, but what if we make it a point to be who they really watch? What if we could be the parents to show our children that it’s ok to be afraid sometimes. Show them that most of the time fear and courage go hand in hand. What if we remind them that we are human beings not human doings and teach them to hold a space for rest? What if we allow them to say “no” without guilt and to say “yes” to their own definition of happiness without the need for society’s approval? What if, most importantly, we show them unconditional love and healthy acceptance. What if we prove to them that whether they fly or fall unlike a show we won’t cancel. What if instead we take the supporting role as their biggest fans? What if we show up on set each day as their own studio audience cheering them on? ❣️