Years ago, I was Marcia Brady and I had two younger sisters, Jan and Cindy. It was the seventies  and we were children and we all pretended we were Brady Bunch girls.

Every afternoon we’d turn on the TV eager to watch the latest Brady Bunch episode or the latest repeat. We must have watched each one a hundred times.  We soaked them all up and we longed to be child stars.

Occasionally, I thought I might prefer to be a famous singer rather than a TV child actress. When I wasn’t watching The Brady Bunch I was absorbed in Johnny Young’s Young Talent Time.  I wanted to be in his troop of child performers. I wanted to be Tina Arena, Jane Scali or Sally Boyden.

Some of my friends shared my Young Talent Time ambition. We decided to form a girl band and practice our talents.  A roaming TV producer might hear about us and come looking. We performed every school lunch-time on the concrete slab behind the girls’ toilet block. There were three or four of us. In those days, I was one of the cool kids. We sang and twirled and smiled. We were sensational and life was fun.

Every day I practiced singing like a star. I'd half close my eyes and stare into the depths of the gold-framed mirror in our family's lounge room, and warble my way through all the latest pop love songs. I'd clutch my imaginary microphone tightly and sway from side to side. I was fabulous. Such talent. I could hardly wait until I was discovered. One day, someone did discover me. My father. And that was the end of me singing to the mirror.

We had a fabulous teacher. “Can we sing a song for the class, Miss D?” Of course, we could. We lined up at the front of the room and sang, and the rest of the class was envious. They all wished they could be part of our girl band.

One day Miss D listened a little closer than usual. She asked all the girls to stop singing except Leslie. We looked baffled. Leslie looked baffled, but she opened her mouth and sang solo. Suddenly I realised something. Leslie could sing. And I couldn’t. I’ve often wondered what became of Leslie. Did she actually become famous?

The girl band broke up. The Brady Bunch once again became the centre of our conversation. One day, someone announced, “I heard Cindy died.” Our eyes grew wide. How? “She was in a car accident.” Could it be possible? No more Brady Bunch? Of course, our source of information was unreliable and Cindy lived on and so did the Brady Bunch. And so did our dreams.

I never did become a famous child star. Instead I grew up. I forgot all about the Brady Bunch until Thomas was born. 

Seconds after his birth, our sixth child was whisked away to the NICU. I didn’t get a chance to see him. I was transferred to the maternity ward while my baby was hooked up to a life support system. I waited anxiously for news. Did he have enough lung tissue to live? When would I be able to visit my new son? Pierre, the junior doctor, came to give me an update. He walked in and smiled  gently, saying, “Congratulations! You have your very own Brady Bunch!” Yes, I had three girls and three boys.

My very own Brady Bunch. I had my very own Brady Bunch for twenty-eight and a quarter hours. And then Thomas died.

So I ended up being Mrs Brady instead of Marcia Brady, and our first season lasted for just over a day. But what a run we had. A star-studded cast including talented newcomer Thomas Augustine Joseph. Twenty-eight hours on stage. He was nominated for the highest award and he won it: Saint.

Funny how things work out. That skinny-legged, freckle-faced girl grew up and she didn’t find fame and fortune. She couldn’t sing. She couldn’t dance. No one discovered her. That’s not quite right. The love of her life found her. 

Together Andy and I took centre stage where God gave me a starring role: Mother. He gave me a very special moment under the spotlight. He didn't ask me to audition for this part. I didn't have to line up and prove my worth. No. He just chose me. He knew I could do it. 

God made me mother of a saint. 

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  1. No fair making me cry in the middle of the day. This is beautiful Sue.

  2. Pam,

    It wasn't quite fair how my story turned into a grief one half-way through, was it? Sorry. It just happened that way. It was supposed to have been a light-hearted post.

    Thank you so much for sharing it anyway.

  3. To be a mother (a parent) is one of the greatest roles God asks us to perform in life.

    To do it well, as you have, deserves an Oscar.

    God bless you and yours.

  4. Oh my! You write like an angel, Sue. You have no idea how powerful this post is. I guess Thomas got into the story because he belonged there. You have a knack for reaching into people's hearts with your words...this was beautiful.

  5. That's funny... I have good memories of watching re-runs of the Brady Bunch with you. I'm not sure I would enjoy it today, but at 10 or so, it was good fun!

  6. Sue, I loved that story. I had similar childhood experiences with the Brady bunch. I, too, bought the first and second seasons for my kids. They enjoyed it, but I too had mixed opinions looking at it through adult motherhood eyes. I boxed up the sets and have not taken them out for the kids to watch again. Funny how things change. This always surprises me. Thanks for sharing. I love the way your writing unfolds unexpectedly!

  7. Sue, you have such a gift for writing. What a beautiful story! And I loved The Brady Bunch, too. In fact, I just recorded an episode for my boys. My husband and I were laughing about the "porkchops and applesauce" episode as I made porkchops the other night. It just happened to come on tv so I taped it for the boys. We haven't watched it yet. I'll be curious to see if they like it or not (or whether I'll still like it or not). God bless!

  8. Victor,

    We yearn for some outside recognition. The world tells us we need to 'do something' to be fulfilled and successful. And the most important job is here at home: being a parent.

    Growing up, I never really thought about that. I assumed I'd have a family one day but I didn't dream about it. There were more exciting options. Or so I thought.

    Yes, I am certainly glad God gave me a starring role!

    Thank you for your comment and kind words, Victor.

    God bless you!

  9. Thank you, Mary.

    Maybe you found the story beautiful because Thomas was in it. He has a knack of adding his special touch. I almost feel apologetic about writing about him so often. I have made a commitment to a couple of grief ministries to share a new grief story now and then, and I am grateful for that opportunity to share Thomas.

    God bless!

  10. Hi Felicity,

    We must have watched "The Brady Bunch" on TV because we didn't have the DVD set when you were ten. I don't really remember watching but I can see you do!

    I guess you are all different. You liked the series and so does Gemma-Rose. But Charlotte is so uncomfortable with it. All that boyfriend stuff when Marcia and Jan are younger than she is.

    Love you!

  11. Grace,

    Thank you for sharing my story and your thoughts on "The Brady Bunch". I am constantly surprised how I am changing as the years pass. There are many TV programs I used to enjoy but no longer do. It is quite disappointing. It's as if all my old memories are worthless.

    I think "The Brady Bunch" is basically a clean fun family program. But the characters don't lead lives like my children do. I think the boyfriend-girlfriend issue is a bit of a problem. But the program does portray a happy big family so that must be good!

    I hide our DVD sets from time to time. Although Charlotte doesn't like them at all, the younger girls do get absorbed in the stories and I get fed-up with them quoting them as if they are very important. There's better things for them to watch.

    God bless.

  12. Stephanie,

    I am a few years older than a lot of my readers. I was wondering if anyone would relate to a story about "The Brady Bunch". Obviously this series has been repeated so many times over the years, everyone is familiar with the Brady family regardless of when they were born. And from what you said, it is still being shown on TV!

    Pork and applesauce? I have a vague memory. I am almost tempted to go and put the DVD on and have a look at that episode!

    Let me know if the boys like "The Brady Bunch". I'd be very interested to hear!

    Thank you for your comment!

  13. Hi Sue, I've awarded you the Liebster Award. Please visit my post and join in!

  14. Stephanie,

    You are beautiful! Thank you. And thank you for always reading my blog.

    God bless you.

  15. Sue
    I've never been friends with a 'cool kid'!! I'm all a thrill now:)
    btw so know what you mean about watching Brady bunch as an adult. on the other hand my dd 18 watched Grease for the first time and although she picked up lots of innuendos said that the clothing was really nothing much. sure some tightness but nothing too bad, so decade perspective I guess.

  16. Erin,

    I didn't say I remained a cool kid! My time at the top was very short lived!!! I turned into a very plain and nerdy teenager.

    I haven't seen "Grease" for years. Now there's a memory. I wonder what I'd think of it today. Maybe I'll go take a look! The music was certainly catchy. I'll probably laugh at all the hair styles. I seem to remember Olivia Newton John had "big hair"!!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  17. I never wanted to be a Brady Bunch kid. But I did want to be in Grease. I loved Frenchy. She was my favorite. But I wanted to sing just like Olivia Newton John. :)

    Beautiful as always Sue!! (aka... the cool kid) :)

    Signed, your dork friend from Florida. LOL

    1. Susan,

      I discovered this option to reply underneath each comment, and then I forgot to put my reply in the right place!

  18. Susan,

    It seems we all had our childhood dreams. I loved Olivia Newton John too.

    Thank you for sharing my story!

    Signed your no-longer-cool friend (sigh!) from Australia


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