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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Goodbye Mr. Cunningham

I've heard people say time goes by faster the older you get.

But I think it goes by faster after you start a blog.

It feels like I posted a video yesterday, but time has already swallowed most of the week, and I need to write something clever again. (Not that I was ever clever to begin with!)

We lost two TV icons recently with both Tom Bosley from "Happy Days" and Barbara Billingsley from "Leave It to Beaver." For decades, they represented the old-fashioned ideals of the American family: the homemaker mom who could do it all, and the understanding but firm father.

The death of these terrific actors gave me pause and made me ponder how the ideals they represented are dying too. Fathers are largely absent from the family, and most women no longer stay home to raise their children.

Somewhere along the line, we gave up the idea of an old-fashioned family, but I'm still not certain how Americans have replaced it.  Is it always necessary for both parents to work?  How did two incomes become the new standard?  And why do I have the sneaking suspicion that fathers are viewed as a bonus rather than an essential.

I thought of this today while watching a few minutes of Dr. Phil where two parents fought over custody of their children. All I saw on stage was anger, remorse, and regret.

It made me thankful to have the parents I have. They weren't perfect, but they knew how to value commitment. It's something more people should value too.  Maybe that's the glue that held the old-fashioned family together.  Maybe that's exactly what we've lost.

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