by Amanda Russo
When I was a kid, cartoons were only for Saturday mornings. More often than not, I watched whatever shows the adults watched. I spent a lot of time with my grandmother and she introduced me to many fabulous programs -- the best of all was, of course, "The Golden Girls."
I have many fond memories of watching "The Golden Girls" with my family (and I can still sing the theme song by heart). While my daughter has the luxury of on-demand kids' shows at home, any time we visit her grandma, we make time for the (pre- "Sex and the City") fabulous four. Re-watching episodes with my daughter has made me realize how much one can truly take away from "The Golden Girls." Here are five lessons I hope my daughter learns from Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia.
1. Friendship will get you through hard times
Rose, Blanche, Dorothy and Sophia couldn't have been more different, but they had one thing in common: each other. The Girls shouldered each other's burdens and shared in each other's good times. It is funny, heartbreaking and beautiful to watch. I hope that my daughter is blessed with great friends with whom she can share both joy and sadness.
2. What some think of as flaws can be strengths
Dorothy's matter-of-fact nature could be construed as rude. Rose's innocent kindness may come across as naiveté. Blanche's desire may seem like a lack of self-control. Sophia's age may appear to limit her. I want my daughter to learn that though she may desperately want to change some aspect of her personality, it is those special elements that make her who she is. I hope she celebrates what makes her different.
3. Unlikely friends can be the best ones
The days of making instant friends on the playground are fleeting. My daughter will soon learn about cliques. She may be part of them or she may be excluded, but I never want her to choose her friends for shallow reasons. Let the snarky one, the silly one, the one who gets all the boys and the wise one into your circle. Give everyone a chance just as "The Girls" did. You may find a best friend.
4. Life is easier when you're laughing
"The Girls" may have neatly wrapped up their troubles in 30 minutes, but we know real life can't work that way. What they did know, though, is that even the hardest of times can be made a lot easier with a bit of laughter. When my daughter faces troubles in her life, I hope that she can find a way to laugh at them and meet each struggle with a smile.
5. Cheesecake can't solve all your problems, but there's no harm in trying
There is no life lesson from "The Golden Girls" more important than the cheesecake cure. When all else fails, cut yourself a heaping slice and enjoy! Learning to appreciate the simple joys in life is one of the sweetest lessons I hope she learns from watching this classic.
Are you a "Golden Girls" devotee? Share your favorite lesson with us in the comments!
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This piece was originally published by Amanda Russo on Mommy Nearest. Amanda is a certified preschool special education teacher. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.