Keeping Up with the Perfectly Imperfect Jacksons

TV families appear happy on-camera. I’m not sure why my family isn’t smiling in this picture. It’s likely Dad set the timer on the camera and we weren’t sure when to smile. Typical day at the Jackson house.   

If my family had a television show it would look like a mash-up of the The Brady Bunch, The Cosby Show and Good Times. You’d smile at our lovable dad, admire our beautiful mom and laugh at us adorable kids who say and do the darnedest things. At times, you’d also sympathize with our family’s struggles. Our tv family would not be perfect instead we’d be relate-able and give you moments that would make you want to come live in the Jackson household.

Here’s a story of a lovely lady

The theme song to the Brady Bunch is one of those tunes that makes you smile and happily bob your head. Generally, that’s the feeling most people would get from watching our family’s story. It starts off with my mother (Patricia) and my father (Sidney). She’s smart and beautiful, he’s tall and personable. They share the same values and goals of raising a family and building a better life for their kids, Antoneia, Sidney (Beanie) and Brie. It warms your heart to see Sidney Sr. walk through the door with barbie dolls and G.I. Joe figures, toys he picked up for the kids on his way home.  He kisses Pat as he walks into the kitchen where dinner is already on the table. It’s the perfect scene. It’s almost as if you could smell mama’s tuna casserole, veggies and fresh corn bread through the screen. You love watching this seemingly perfect family.

A lesson in every show

Like an episode of the Cosby Show, each day at the Jackson house brings a new life lesson. Parents would relate to my mom and dad’s efforts to raise well-rounded kids with good morals. For instance, there’s the time my brother got into a minor accident with my sister’s brand new car. Beanie was supposed to drive to school and drive directly home afterwards. However, he wanted to impress a girl so he drove her to her house on the other side of town and hit another car. When I arrived home from school, Beanie was in his room – door shut, tv off – preparing for his punishment once Dad came home. When Dad walked into the door, he went downstairs to eat dinner while Beanie awaiting his punishment. Then Dad called Beanie downstairs to the kitchen table and sternly expressed his disappointment in my brother’s decision-making. While I’m sure he got grounded, I think the feeling of disappointing a parent may have been punishment enough for my brother (the golden child of the family). From teachable moments, those watching would learn the importance of rules and empathize with the frustrations of parenting while smiling at my brother’s discomfort in waiting for my dad to come home.

Damn, Damn, Damn

One of the most memorable moments from Good Times is when Florida throws the punch bowl on the floor after her husband James dies, leaving her to care for three children – alone.  I was 4 when my mother was killed in a car accident and my dad became a widowed single-parent. This drastically changed the dynamics of our happy home. My sister was 14 at the time and just heading  into the teen years, a time of tremendous social and emotional development for most young people. Instead of episodes filled with heartwarming mother-daughter talks about boys, prom and other exciting times, viewers would see my sister’s unique struggles to cope and how they often lead to arguments with dad. Despite any challenges our family faced, we leaned on each other to get through the tough times. At the end of the day, that’s what family is all about.

Family is where life begins and love never ends

Recent family road trip. Dad drove (us crazy). LOL

While we are far from the drama of the Kardashians, our Jackson family unit does have its fair share of disagreements, heartbreaks and #familyproblems. But in the end, we support each other and know the love will always be there.

This is the first story in a series of post related to family, genealogy and other related topics. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter.



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