Wednesday, May 11, 2011
I picked up Sunday's Parade magazine this morning and on the cover were favorite TV moms, according to the editors I guess. I only knew one of the moms and recognized one as a former child star. Where were my favorite TV moms? Miss Michael Learned and Ellen Corby were not on the cover. You know them better as Mrs. John Walton and Mrs. Zebullon Walton, or Olivia and Esther. They were characters based on Earl Hamner's own mother and both grandmothers were rolled into one. Yes, the last character was a grandmother but grandmothers are mothers too. In fact when Ellen Corby died I felt like I lost a grandma. These women showed what real strength is. They lived through the depression and second world war. They lived under the same roof and that was sometimes problematic when it came to raising John and Olivia's 7 children. Grandma was stuck in the old ways and Olivia, while she did not run towards them accepted the new terms of a changing society. So sometimes they butted heads. They were religious women who never missed a church service or prayer meeting. And Olivia's form of discipline was to have the offending child spend time reflecting on God's Word by memorizing scripture. I remember in one episode one of the kids, I think it was Jim-Bob stepped out of line. He got the "look" from Mama and just asked, "How many Bible verses this time?" I must admit I'm a bit torn at the idea of learning Bible verses as discipline or punishment. Reading the Bible always brought my mother such joy and I too liked the challenge of memorization. I think it might take the joy and the ah ha moments out of my time in the Word if it had once been used as punishment. These women are the TV moms of my youth. My mother liked them as well and in some ways was like them. She was a strong woman of faith who wasn't afraid to discipline her children. She was born at the end of the depression and didn't have to see any sons off to war but she still had her share of hard times. She was a tiny little thing like Grandma Walton and you just wanted to provide protection for her much like Zebullon did for Esther. So happy belated Mother's Day Olivia and Esther. I'm glad you came into my home every Thursday evening. And thank you Earl Hamner for sharing them with me.