These taped interviews would then be transcribed. Later we would each listen to them all (not just the ones we conducted but everyone's) and code their responses. It was all fascinating (it must appeal to the eavesdropper in me) but one question in particular always stood out for me:
Who are your parenting role models?
Sometimes they'd mention their own mom. More often an aunt or a grandma. But surprisingly often they would cite a fictional or celebrity mom: Claire Huxtable on the Cosby Show. Lorelei Gilmore from Gilmore Girls. Angelina Jolie. Etc.
Certainly it was sad when there were no real LIVE role models for mothering. It goes without saying (but here I go) that actual role models are important in learning how to effectively parent...That's a topic for another day.
Today I was listening to an interview on NPR
where the editors of Variety asked "is there a movie that changed your life (even just a little bit)?" and I remembered those girls-almost-women and their connection with made-up characters, brand new moms looking for some other way (in many cases) than what they themselves got. And I thought, good for them
. Seeking. Aspiring. Resourceful. So what if the role model is imaginary, if the lessons are real?
. . .
I have my own fictional touchstones of motherhood. Do you?
yes, Claire Huxtable's feistiness and humor.
And Lorelei's sense of fun and closeness and connection with her daughter.
And, in books, Victoria Austin in the L'Engle's Austin series (growing up, I always thought that's how I'm going to be...)
And Atticus Finch's wisdom and gentleness and integrity.
And the mom in Blueberries for Sal. Just because.
What fictional moms (might) have made an impact on you?
Or am I just a little wacky?
. . .
Maddy's home tonight!