When Raquel and I get together, we often talk about Beverly Goldberg. If you ever have seen the show “The Goldbergs” you will understand why Beverly is our favorite television mother of teenagers.
Beverly is a fierce advocate for her three children. Some say she goes too far, but it’s all a matter of perspective.
Beverly will go to great lengths to keep her children from growing up too fast. In one episode, she teaches her daughter crazy SAT vocabulary words to keep her daughter from going to college far away.
Beverly will guilt her children into spending time with her. In one of Raquel’s favorite episodes called “Hershey Park,” Beverly wants to go on a field trip with her son, but he refuses to let her come along. Beverly writes her son an eight-page, double-sided guilt letter. She then holds a master class and teaches other parents how to write guilt letters to get their kids to spend more time with them. “What I’m about to show you is the most powerful weapon in a mother’s arsenal,” she tells the parents, “the guilt letter.” They, of course, think Beverly is a genius.
By her own admission, Beverly considers herself a smother ( a suffocating mother) or a “professional guilter.” She is the original helicopter mom, hovering over her three children in the most unthinkable and hilarious ways.
As a mother of teenagers, Beverly is at the point in her life when she should be letting go, but she CAN’T. She sees that her teens are growing up and she wants them to need her like they did when they were little. As a mom of teens, I can BIG TIME relate to that. Beverly wants hugs and snuggles and affection. But as her kids grow up, they are increasingly less thrilled about it, which is a part of raising teenagers that often blindsides us. Who hasn’t gone in for the hug only to have their teen make a quick escape out of the car?
The Mother’s Day episode in Season 6 is a real tear-jerker and another one of our favorites. Son Adam is so fed up with Beverly’s that he tells her he hates her. She responds that she is done being his mother. By the end of the episode, Adam tries to make up and explains that he hates that she’s a nudge, but he loves that she supports everything he does. “You might be done being my mother,” he says. “But I will never be done being your son.” Beverly finally admits to him. “Let’s be honest, I couldn’t be done even if I wanted to.”
What is so great about The Goldbergs is that it is based on a real-life family. At the end of each episode, they do a short interview with the real Beverly or her kids. In real life, Adam, her son, is the show’s creator and producer.
The Goldbergs takes place in the 1980s, the time when most of us parents were teenagers. That was the decade when big hairdos were popular and pay phones still existed. Yet, the themes of motherhood transcend the decades.
Raquel and I started thinking about what Beverly would do if she was a parent of teenagers in 2019.
“Just imagine if Beverly Goldberg had an iPhone…she would be lethal.”—Raquel
We decided if Beverly was a mother of teens today she DEFINITELY would stalk them on social media. That’s a given, right? She also would probably stalk her kids’ friends, and comment on or “like” their posts.
There is no doubt Beverly would have a tracker app on her phone, to know where her teens were at all times. Yep, Life360 would be her best friend. Of course, Beverly would text message her kids throughout the day and use lots of emojis.
Beverly often goes too far to get her kids what they want — a part in a play, a job. While her kids find her antics embarrassing, she does everything from a place of love and they know it. Some of her tactics to strong arm a teacher or coach would be considered bullying today — and probably lead to a restraining order or ban from school property.
As mothers, Raquel and I understand the sentiment that drives Beverly Goldberg, and in her own outrageous way, she represents the unconditional love we all have for our kids. It’s not easy to watch our babies become teenagers and then become young adults who don’t need their mommies the way the once did. We all want to hold on just a little longer.
Yes, Beverly Goldberg is a our favorite television mother of teenagers. While she sometimes makes us cringe with her over-the-top smothering, she has survived the teen years and makes her real life appearances at the end of the episodes to let us know it will all work out okay. Her message is clear… we will survive and one day we will laugh about it.
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