I suppose “The Cosby Show” was to me what “Leave it to Beaver” was to many others, my ideal world. Two married, loving, successful parents, five mostly well adjusted children with very common growing pains, heck my own mother, the beautiful lawyer, has even been mistaken for Phylicia Rashad while walking through the airport, why shouldn’t I wish I had a Cosby marriage and family?
So, now I’m married with 4 and 1/2 kids (my 10 year old stepson is 1/2 mine!) and wishing that I lived in the Huxtable house. I have a full-time job (which ends up being more than 40 hrs per week) a 5 year old, 3 year old, and 9 month old twins at home, a growing small business (Rapha Photography), too much weight on my body and I’m getting too little sleep at night. I’m not a lawyer, my husband is not a doctor, and our house feels like the Ringling Bros. live here. How then, are we supposed to be the 21st century Cleavers/Huxtables…by taking the examples that we were given. Most of us simply laugh at the punchlines and at the end of the half hour simply wish that our lives could somehow be wrapped up so neatly in 22 minutes with commercial breaks inserted. We must start examining what is really being communicated to the studio audience, it is…the art of communication.
Did you ever notice that neither Claire nor June told off Cliff or Ward? Did you ever notice that neither woman made sure her husband knew that she was right and pounded his will into the pavement? Did you ever notice that above all things, she (the respective wives) showed their husbands respect?
Did you also notice that no matter how frustrated the husbands became, they were loving to their wives? Did you notice how they deferred to her sound judgement because she made sure to show him that she respected his? Did you notice how they would instruct their children to act lovingly toward their mothers?
I believe that marriages, relationships and families struggle because we have forgotten how to communicate with each other. I believe that we have forgotten how to treat each other with love and respect, therefore our words are filled with anything but. As I reflect on my husband and my marriage and how much like Claire Huxtable I’ve always wanted to be (including my current plans to enroll in law school in the fall), I must constantly remember that she projected with her attitude and her words how lovingly others should treat her.