Monday, July 27, 2009

Confessions of a Late Night Mom

I think it's time I came clean. After six years of marriage I really need to fess up. I have been living a secret life, and the burden of carrying it alone is just too much to bear. It's a secret that unfolds under the cover of night, when (almost) no one else in the house is awake. It's not something I'm proud of, but I need to get this off my chest because I'm pretty sure I've got a problem. Yes, it's high time I confess that while my loving husband and son snore the night away, I prop myself up and slip into the waiting arms... of the Huxtable family. That's right, my name is Mona and I'm addicted to watching late night reruns of The Cosby Show.

It all began innocently enough. Having learned my lesson after baby #1, as soon as #2 came home I kicked my husband out of our bedroom. Despite his willingness to "help out" with middle of the night feedings, he clearly lacks the necessary equipment, and also lacks the ability to function on less than 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Plus, I have to admit- it just plain makes me mad to watch him sleep while I'm forced to stay awake! So out he went to the guest room, and out came the remote control.

At first my channel surfing was predictable and safe. CNN, Food Network... I knew my dependable daytime friends would be there for me at any hour. But one night, one particularly hungry night for my little girl, I ventured out of my comfort zone, checked the channel guide and found... bliss. Cliff! Claire! Rudy! Vanessa! The whole gang- where had you been hiding? Like a reunion with a cherished friend, we were right back where we left off those many years ago without missing a beat. And I was hooked.

Maybe it's just a distraction from the harried days and endless nights that come with being a mom of two kids two and under. After all, the Cosbys had FIVE kids and still managed to make us laugh through 28 minutes and two commercial breaks. But I think there might be more to my late night love affair. You see, growing up in my house Thursday night, aka Cosby Night, was sacred. As any first-generation immigrant child can tell you, not all American humor translates as "funny" for Old World parents. But my dad- a brilliant doctor, a soft-spoken but authoritative Egyptian, a man of both science and religion was magnetically drawn to the Cos. Nothing, and no one could make him laugh like Cliff Huxtable, and every week my whole family sat down to tune in together. I don't remember many of the episodes, but I do remember my dad. The permanent grin spreading across his normally serious face. The way he'd remove his glasses to wipe tears of laughter from his soulful brown eyes.

My children are so blessed to have all four grandparents alive, but age and disease have taken a major toll on my dad. It breaks my heart to watch him struggle to pick up his grandson, or climb the three steps leading into our home. Even his laugh (which does come often thanks to my little boy's antics) lacks the strength it had back in the Cosby days. I guess in a way those episodes are my way of rewinding time, pressing pause on reality. I wish my kids could go back to that place with me- to see their grandfather, their beloved "Gido" as he once was. So at 2:30am when the house is dark and quiet, I nurse my sweet baby girl and slip into my secret world, courtesy of The Cosby Show. It's a place where it will always be Thursday night, and we will always be laughing.

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