Today became a sad day as I learned Barbara Billingsley passed away. For those not familiar, she was June Cleaver, Mom of the Beav.
Although Leave It To Beaver really was ahead of my time, I always loved Mrs. Cleaver. She was the epitome of what I hoped to be for my family: well poised, well spoken, impeccably dressed. I mean, c'mon people, she vacuumed in heels and pearls! She was the heart of her family, provided unconditional love and understanding to her boys, and let her husband believe he was the head of the household when it was she who kept it a well-oiled machine. Though it was never proven, I am sure she was the basis for Marvel Comics rendition of Wonder Woman.
There are many times I wish we could return to those times of June Cleaver. Young children dressed like young children, they possessed an innocence of the world, and they believed Mom knew everything. Women had time to cook and be involved in the lives of their families without the Mom guilt of trying to be everyone and everything to everybody.
Please don't misunderstand me, I am thrilled that as women we have the opportunities to be whoever we want to be. However, sometimes I long for simpler times when we didn't have to be so many things to so many people.
Also true to Mrs. Cleaver, Barbara Billlingsley could laugh at herself. After hanging up her apron as the Beav's Mom, she was found in the first Airplane movie, adorned in cashmere and pearls translating jive in a three-way conversation. That, my friends, is a lady with class!
So for all of us who appreciate the model Mrs. Cleaver provided, I drink a toast to us and the memory of Barbara Billingsley. May she rest in peace.