I really enjoy binge watching old television shows. I get excited about viewing things from the adult perspective. Watching the shows as a child, I was focusing more on the fashion and the celebrities. Now I get a chance to see the things I missed and learn a few lessons in the process. The latest show I have been watching is “The Cosby Show”. Just seeing the title of the show made me laugh. It automatically took me back to my childhood. I couldn’t wait to get home from school on Thursday. There was no time to play around. Homework, dinner and a bath had to be done so there would be no interruptions. The house was quiet when the show came on. There was a strict no talking rule. I can even remember a time when not being able to watch the show was part of my punishment for getting in trouble at school. I thought my life was over. Since everyone I knew watched the show, it was the first thing we talked about at school on Friday morning. If I didn’t watch it, what was I going to do while everyone else was talking about it?
As I sit and watch each episode, I become so overwhelmed with so many positive emotions. (My dad was alive when this show was on and I am really missing him right now) When I was growing up, all I wanted to be was one of the Cosby kids. Now I realize, I was one. Well, I was a Cobb kid and that was better than a Cosby kid. I had everything they had, except the fame. I couldn’t see it then, but it is so clear now. I actually scribbled a list in my journal.
- They had nice clothes. I had nice clothes.
- Their parents had good jobs. My parents had good jobs.
- Their parents loved them. My parents loved me.
- They had a nice house. I had a nice house.
- They had a two parent home. I had 3 parents and a multitude of aunts & uncles. My grandmothers and great grandmothers were alive when I was young too.
- They had friends. I had friends, but even better I had a gang of cousins. My cousins were my friends that I got to be around all the time.
- Their parents were very involved with their school life. Not only were my parents involved, but so were my grandparents, aunts and uncles.
The one thing that had such a profound influence on my life from “The Cosby Show” is this show was the reason I knew wanted to go to college one day. It was amazing to see all of those smart and beautiful black people together. I was introduced to sororities and fraternities and I wanted to be a part of it all. Of course my parents had told me I should grow up and go to college, but they didn’t make it seem as fun as the show did. They talked about getting a good job and providing for a family. That sounded too much like hard work, so I wasn’t keen on the idea until I saw the show. My life was changed forever. I wanted to be a doctor, lawyer, professor and a professional student. My major did not matter as long as I attended Hillman University. My dreams took a slight detour when I discovered Hillman was a fictional institution. I was hurt, but I got over it because I still wanted to go to college. Fiction or not, I think Hillman served its purpose for me and many black children growing up at the time.
I consider myself fortunate to have grown up with the immeasurable amount of support I had. I have come across so many people who not only didn’t have support, but they didn’t have a family. When I tell stories about the mischief I would get into with my cousins, some people look as me as if I was speaking a foreign language. I would not trade those memories for anything. I know we got on each others nerves, got into arguments and fights, but in the end we still came back together. We may not have been the Huxtables, but we were family. Our lives may not have been “picture perfect”, but as J. Cole says “It was worth the picture still.”
“I sustain myself with the love of family.”
― Maya Angelou