(Strip Number 1033, Original Publication Date, 10 April 1986)
Panel 1: Mike asks Elly if Phil has gone home; she tells him yes.
Panel 2: He then has what is described as being a melodramatic meltdown after his music lesson when he complains that Phil simply expects too much of him.
Panel 3: He describes himself as having to live his life completely for other people who expect him to do the impossible and be good at everything. He tells her that he's expected be a skater, a musician, a brain, a servant and so many other things just to be loved.
Panel 4: All his super-sympathetic mother Elly can see is an actor.
Summary: Elly can only see an actor for the same reason that John will blather moronically about how "Chee!! I didn't know we'd raised a princess." This is because children are 'resilient' because parents like John and Elly and uncles like Phil are averse to admitting that what they do in the here and now will screw Mike up long after they themselves take up residence in an urn. By not listening to Mike's fear about how he's expected to jump through hoops to make people like him, they're creating a Delicate Genius who can't handle praise without looking like a monstrous cheese.