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Last night my husband, Mark, was helping my two boys settle on a television show. Next thing I know, Mark is all engrossed in some show. I think to myself, "Great. I just lost all of them to screen time." Come to find out, Mark had stumbled on something from his childhood, The Super Mario Brothers Super Show. They were all glued to the TV and loving it. I have to admit, it was a sweet moment. A dad, his boys, and a childhood memory.
It got me thinking...what was my favorite show? I ran through a list in my head:
Charles In Charge
Life Goes On
Mr. Roger's Neighborhood
The Elephant Show
When all of a sudden I looked up at the show my husband was watching with the kids and saw Winnie Cooper! Then, I settled on it.
The Wonder Years.
The Wonder Years was my favorite show as a kid. I remember hoping it was on TV if I was home sick. I remember stretching out on the couch after dinner and waiting for that song...
I loved watching Kevin go through common kid struggles. I hated his brother. I loved Winnie. Then there was the mother who tried holding onto typical American family traditions within a dysfunctional family. The father who ruled with a fist and a bad attitude, but at the end of the day, he loved his family. Yes. The Wonder Years. I began going through You Tube clips, listening, laughing, remembering. I came across the the last show and watched with tear-filled eyes all these year later.
I end this post with the monologue from the last show because it has that warm, cozy feeling and brings me right back to that place in my childhood.
The next day Winnie and I came home, back to where we'd started. It was the fourth of July in that little suburban town. Somehow, though, things were different. Our past was here, but our future was somewhere else. And we both knew, sooner or later, we had to go. It was the last July I ever spent in that town. The next year after graduation, I was on my way. So was Paul. He went to Harvard, of course, studied law. He's still allergic to everything. As for my father, well...we patched things up. Hey, we were family, for better or worse. One for all...and all for one.
Karen's son was born that September. I gotta say, I think he looks like me. Poor kid. Mom, she did well. Businesswoman, board chairman, grandmother, cooker of mashed potatoes. The Wayner stayed on in furniture. Wood seemed to suit him. In fact, he took over the factory two years later, when Dad passed away. Winnie left the next summer to study art history in Paris. Still we never forgot our promise. We wrote to each other once a week for the next eight years. I was there to meet her when she came home...with my wife, and my first son, eight months old.
Like I said, things never turn out exactly the way you planned.
Growing up happens in a heartbeat. One day you're in diapers, next day you're gone. But the memories of childhood stay with you for the long haul. I remember a place, a town, a house...like a lot of houses. A yard like a lot of other yards, on a street like a lot of other streets. And the thing is, after all these YEARS, I still look back...with WONDER.