My Friend, Ilana

Ilana + Dominic, sitting in a tree....

Ilana + Dominic, sitting in a tree….

I have a friend named Ilana Levine. She’s one of those women we would all hate if she wasn’t so undeniably in-your-face loveable. I mean, it’s almost a dare to try not to like her. There’s really no point in trying though. Beautiful? Check. Smart? Check. Giving? Check. Funny? Double check. Got marriage, mothering and friendship all balanced? Checkity-check-check. Oh yeh, and there’s also this: she enjoys a successful career as a TV, Screen, and Stage actress and is married to Dominic Fumusa, star of “Nurse Jackie“. They have two children who are probably going to be kidnapped by me because I love them so.

I cannot crush on her any more or else I’m going to risk the wrath of a jealous husband. My jealous husband. I don’t think Dominic is feeling too threatened.

It is with my whole heart that I recommend reading an entry Ilana wrote for The People’s Choice Blog, describing the push and pull of balancing what a woman wants to do for herself and her career with the needs and wants of her children. Start here and click over to finish it:

“Hey guys, let’s do a test run.”   “A test run?” my two small children asked, “what do you mean?”  My agent had called to tell me I had been offered the play My Name is Asher Lev, an off Broadway hit in New York City.  “Let’s pretend it’s Tuesday night and it’s six o’clock and Mommy is about to leave for the theater. I will kiss you both and say good bye and what will you do?”

Immediately both kids grabbed hold of my legs and burst into tears, real tears, salt and all. Within seconds it turned into full on sobbing. (And I’m the actress?!)

So this was the test run. The rehearsal. Mommy wasn’t really going to work, that was still two full weeks away. But once D-Day arrived this would be the drill for at least three months.

I looked at my husband who was engrossed in checking scores on, oblivious to the three act Ibsen play that had just unfolded by the front door. “Don’t worry, babe. They’ll be fine. They are always fine when I leave for work.”

Yes, it’s true! Why is that? Many mornings my husband is picked up before dawn and heads to the Nurse Jackie set where he plays Kevin Peyton, Edie Falco’s TV husband. Often the kids and I wake up to a sweet note he has left on the kitchen counter. He uses lots of colored markers, writes each of our names in different colors and says Daddy will see you tonight with lots of XXXs and OOOs.

Click here to keep reading. Do it. Just click…

3 thoughts on “My Friend, Ilana

  1. My youngest is 21. I still have guilt moments of, ‘did I do that part right.’ It is a struggle that women have had since the industrial revolution, when we were ‘allowed’ to have other desires, besides motherhood.

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