I must be one of the few people in the United States that never watched Modern Family on TV. I don’t know how I missed it. I used to like Married With Children (the Bundy family). And I loved All in the Family. (Archie and Edith Bunker).

Anyway after seeing it win so many awards at the recent Golden Globes, I decided to order Season One from Netflix. I am glad I did.

For those of you not familiar with the show, here are the various parts of the family. First there is the father/grandfather. He is around sixty and he is sort of an opionated bigot. He has two children. One is a married daughter and one is a gay son who has been with his partner for five years.

The father is married to a hot Columbian woman who is half his age. She has an eleven year old little boy who is very Columbian.

The married daughter has three children and a husband, who is like her fourth child. The two girls are fifteen and twelve and the boy is a little younger. Hubby tries to be cool, but the whole family knows he just ‘doesn’t get it’.

The gay son and his partner have just adopted a baby girl from Vietnam. The son is very uptight and organized. The partner is very flamboyant and fun.

This bizarre group of people each have their own issues and then interact as a Modern Family. It is entertaining and very funny. Highly recommended.

It reminds me of how changed the ‘family’ is from when I was a little girl. Now that the divorce rate is 50%, it is not at all unusual for a child to have four grandmothers and four grandfathers.

Not to mention all the step mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. Holidays are a real problem. Who do you spend what with?

When I was ten, I was forbidden to play with Mary Lou, one of the neighbor children, because her parents were divorced. This was in 1948 and being a single mother had a real stigma.

I played with her anyway and when my mother asked where I had been that day, I made up something. I used to love to go to her house. There were no rules. You could jump on the furniture and play hide and seek in the closets. The mother was there, but she didn’t seem to care what we did.

Families have really changed over the years. Now you have men who stay home and take care of the children and women who earn more money than their husbands. There are women who are doctors and men who are nurses.

When I was a child, it was very clear that the little ‘doctor’ kits were black and the ‘nurse’ kits were white. Little girls didn’t even get to play with a ‘black doctor kit’.

In 1961 when my son was three years old, we bought him trucks and guns and toy soldiers. He liked playing with the little girl next door. She had baby dolls and little dishes. One day my husband came home and found him next door playing with the dolls and the dishes. He hit the ceiling.

Also lots of people don’t seem to think it is all that important to get married before you have children. Since the average wedding these days costs over $20,000, it seems like such a waste, to think that half of these marriages will end in divorce.

I try to be liberal and live and let live, but I grew up in a whole different era, when our Bible was Dick and Jane and Baby Sally. There was a mother, father, grandmother, grandfather and there were no divorces, step parents, or non married couples at all.

When I got married at nineteen, I had been engaged for over a year and pinned before that. That was the college thing to do. If you were in a sorority and your ‘intended’ was in a fraternity, he gave you his fraternity pin to wear.

Then the whole fraternity came over to the girl’s sorority house and made a circle around the happy couple. The boys sang songs and it was very special. It was more than ‘going steady’. It was engaged to be engaged.

I don’t know if this is done any more. Probably not. Maybe they just post this news on Facebook.

The children of today are growing up in much different times. They are accustomed to divorce, having two or more sets of parents, and multiple grandparents. Or just two sets of grandparents who live in four different places (and have boyfriends and girlfriends).

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