As a young girl my dream was to be June Cleaver. I remember watching old reruns of Leave it to Beaver and thinking to myself that she had it made. She always pulled perfect dinners from her oven that were baked while wearing pearls and high heels. She had two perfect children and a husband that went to work every day to support her and keep her in high heels and pearls. June Cleaver lived a charmed life in my little girl mind.
When I reached high school June Cleaver stopped looking quite so good to me. It was later, in my teen years, filled with teenage angst and emotions, I started writing. I vented my feelings to my journals and poetry. In my twenties, when my son was born I started writing short, children's stories to amuse him which later evolved into longer, more elaborate, fantasy novels. My partner, who later became my husband, encouraged and understood my need to write because he also wrote. Together we would brainstorm ideas for novels and sit jotting down characters and scenes. He would write stories and I would edit. I would write and he would critique. He always encouraged me and was so proud of me when I got my first poem published. When a short romance/thriller entry won second place in a writing contest he took me out to celebrate. He was so much better than Ward could have dreamed of being because he loved my cooking and my personality.
I think about June Cleaver and think that I would have written her differently. She couldn't have possibly cooked and cleaned all day. Did she have any hobbies? Dreams? Goals? Did she and Ward ever fight? Did she ever have a bad hair day? Did Wally and Beaver every frustrate her to the point that she threw up her hands and said, "Fine! Do whatever the hell you want!"? I would have given her a personality. June would have cared for her family but she also would have been a neurotic writer. She shoud have had an office in her house cluttered with empty coffee cups and an overflowing ashtray. Her cat would be jumping up on her lap and curling up in a ball as she typed away. Some days Ward would come home and find her still in her pajamas because she was on a roll and didn't want to stop typing long enough to shower and dress. She would sit there for hours staring at her writing, running her hands through her hair and pushing it out of her face as she suffered the dreaded writer's block knowing that she had a deadline to meet so she would pick up the phone and order pizza for her family for dinner.
I guess when I grow up I want to be my version of June (minus the high heels because I much prefer my beat up scruffy, pink slippers).