“The Middle” – A Shameless Plug

We mothers are a “Jane of all trades.” My skills have been evolving for decades now. I didn’t start off knowing how to cut and style hair for instance, but I have become quite good, in my own estimate, and am now allowed the great honor of cutting two of my adult sons hair.

This was not always the case. I can’t decide if they are too cheap and tolerate Mom’s House of Hairdo’s, or they really think I have earned the right to coif. These boys have put up with a lot over the years as human guinea pigs. Uneven buzzing, clipped ears, and lopped off sideburns to name a few of my signature cuts. Our oldest son shared with me recently about one haircut his freshman year that resulted in his friends “goose-stepping” whenever they saw him. Hey, I never claimed to be a hairstylist, but “desperate times call for desperate measures.” There was no way I could cough up twelve bucks each and every time these three gorillas needed a trim. I wasn’t too proud to make a few late night calls to my friend who was a real stylist to do emergency repair jobs either.

When it comes to boo boo’s I have come a long way, and while I can’t claim to have actually done stitches or performed minor surgery…I have managed to keep them in one piece and relatively healthy. My tried and true advice over the years pretty much is this, “You’ll be fine, stop whining.”

Outside of cavities, braces and wisdom teeth we have been a mighty healthy bunch. Thank God. Who knows what measures I might have been forced to whip up had the circumstances been different?  Dr. Mom’s Elixir Extraordinaire to the rescue.

Artist, sculptor, welder, carpenter, baker…yes, we can do more jobs with a range of power tools than our testosterone-laden partners when necessity beckons.

We moms are an underappreciated lot indeed. Who among us has never created a masterpiece out of random recyclables around the house? Halloween costumes, no worries. Give us a few yards of material, some cardboard and paint, and we can create a walking, candy grabbing, miracle of ingenious motherhood.

A television show I have thoroughly enjoyed is called “The Middle”, and stars Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn. This hilarious peek at a Midwest family in the middle of the country feels like a walk through my craziest moments as wife and mother. Have the writers found my journals and brought them to life for all to see? This show features mom, dad and three children trying to make it in today’s world struggling with the same battles we face day to day. Patricia Heaton narrates her thoughts out loud which delivers a one-two punch to the hilarity and endearing quality of the show.

Why the shameless plug you ask? TV these days seems to attack family values and often uses the dysfunctional, fractured families of TVLand as the battlefield to push their anti-marriage and family agendas. I have found this show to be delivered in such a way that a positive message still comes through despite the crazy whirlwind of family life. For me, watching the episodes brings back so many memories of my own insecurities and trials as a parent. How many times have I thrown my arms up in exasperation and canceled a holiday? Priceless and always funny when one is looking back! Our own wacky, outrageous, and ridiculous adventures are what fills my columns and makes the bad memories not so bad after all and to the contrary, great fodder for laughter.

I invite your family to join our family on Wednesday nights on ABC. I hope you will find laughter and good memories together as we have, recalling our own outlandish and zany escapades as a family in America doing the best we can.

Barbara Lishko works full time as a Lay Catholic Marriage Minister. She and her husband Mark, an ordained Deacon, have been married for 35 years and are blessed with five young adult children, whose lives grow and expand through marriage and grandchildren.

Through the inspiration of her family, work in the Catholic Church and wacky life experiences her dream of writing was born. She is the recipient of the Diocese of Phoenix St Terese of Lisieux award. Barbara can be reached at blishko_58@yahoo.com

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