Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Universality of Motherhood

As Ryan was playing in his exersaucer this morning, I was idly flipping through the channels and I came across an episode of “Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood”. It’s a reality show chronicling the life of Tori Spelling, her husband Dean McDermott, and their two kids, Stella and Liam. Tori is the daughter of the late uberproducer Aaron Spelling, creator of such 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s TV gems as The Mod Squad, Charlie’s Angels, Fantasy Island, The Love Boat, T.J. Hooker, Charmed, 7th Heaven, and Beverly Hills 90210, the latter of which starred a teenaged Tori as part of the ensemble cast. So her claim to fame is basically growing up as Beverly Hills royalty, becoming a teen television star and then moving on to a series of Lifetime movies. I’d always seen her as a bit of an airhead – sweet, but pretty vacuous and superficial. So it was interesting to see her as a mom.

I have to admit, even after the first few minutes of watching I felt a kind of a kinship with her. She and her husband were planning a cross-country RV trip to visit a friend who was recovering from surgery, and although I wouldn’t be able to rent a giant RV and take off across the country on two days’ notice, I can certainly relate to packing up the family for a long camping vacation. Her kids may live in a mansion, but they still throw their toys and cry for no ascertainable reason and refuse to go to bed. Her husband may be a recognizable actor but she still scolds his driving habits and rolls her eyes at him occasionally and disagrees with him sometimes. She may be a bit of a dingbat, but it’s obvious that she loves her family and is devoted to her children, and she, like me, strives to be the best mom to them that she can be.

There’s something universal about motherhood. It doesn’t matter whether a mom is a millionaire, or a working stiff, or living in a homeless shelter. There are moms from all walks of life who love their kids, who sacrifice for them, who worry about them, who do everything they can think of to take care of them and give them a good life. And the kids don’t care if they live in a mansion or a hut, they just want to be loved and played with. And I can identify with that. So if you’ll excuse me, there’s a munchkin waking up upstairs who needs to be played with.

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