When I was about three, Mom took me to Sesame Street Live. Though a bit patchy, this is one of my earliest memories. My Grover! He was right there, live and in lovable blue fuzziness. When Mom took me to meet Big Bird after the show, I had a holy freakniption when the 7 foot tall yellow bird with the three-toed orange feet tried to hug me. Though Big Bird scared the hell out of me, it was Sesame Street! Live! with Grover! It was my first favorite memory.
When I was seven, my mom had a thing for Lionel Richie. She recorded his video Running in the Night and one day while six or seven of my friends were over, she taught us the choreography and had us acting out the whole video. Nevermind the fact that by today's standards, there is a significant cheese factor to the concept of Richie and his dance gang crashing a wedding party; but back then, you couldn't tell us nothin' — we were some schmoove operators. The next weekend, there were twice as many kids in our living room all day long for All Night Long.
That same year, one afternoon she checked me out of school just before lunch and took me to McDonald's to eat, then home for the rest of the day. She said she just wanted to hang out with me.
A couple of years later, Mom loaded me and Chanel into Blue the Battlewagon and said we were going grocery shopping at Baby M's. For us, this meant a long trip there, an eternity spent buying jumbo-sized boxes of everything, and an even longer trip home. We sighed slouched in our seats for what we knew would be a terribly boring day. What seemed like forever later but was actually probably more like 30 or 40 minutes later, Mom piped up, "We're heeere!" I looked up from my book and Chanel looked up from picking her nose or whatever it was she was doing that little kids do in the backseat to occupy themselves boring trips. We both saw the rise of the roller coasters and in unison, we yelled, "UNCLE CLIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFSS!!!" Mom didn't take us to buy big assed boxes of cereal and a year's supply of washing powder; she had taken us to our most favoritest, funnerest, best-day-everist place in the whole danged world (or at least the world as we knew it in Albuquerque).
When I was sixteen and in my junior year of high school, I had the lead in the Spring musical. There were easily at least fifty people in the cast, comprised of students from both my high school and the other one across town. One Saturday was a full-day tech/rehearsal that lasted from 8am to 4pm, with an in-house lunch break at noon. When Mom dropped me off in the morning, I asked if she could bring me lunch at noon. When she returned a little after 12, she found me sitting amongst my friends in the cafetorium and said that I would need to bring some friends out to the car with me to bring lunch in. When I asked what in the world she was talking about, she ignored me and just beckoned for me to follow. I took three friends out with me to the car, where Mom had already opened hatchback. I stood in awe, then went back in to the cafetorium for more help. In the back of the car were aluminum pans full of fried chicken wings, loaves of sub sandwich bread, sliced deli meats and cheeses, condiments, bags of chips, sodas and juice, granola bars, cookies, and an assortment of fresh fruits. She didn't just bring lunch for me; she had brought enough for the entire cast.
This past Saturday, Frank and I took el Cinco out shopping for their Halloween costumes, then out to lunch at McDonald's, where they had some time to romp around in the two-story Playland.
Afterward, we surprised them with a trip to one of the gymnasiums on post to see an hour-long USO-sponsored Sesame Street show. The older four danced and sang in the bleachers a few rows above us. Kaelyn sat on my lap with her eyes wide and smile wider, and yelled, "MOM! DID YOU SEE THAT? ELMO! HE WAVED AT MEEEE!!! AND COOKIE MONSTER, TOO! AND GROOOOOVER – HE'S THE MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK!!!" And idiot that I am, I had to fight the prickles in the corners of my eyes.
When it was over, we filed out of the gym, with el Cinco chattering animatedly about totally awesome cool it was. We came home and ate pizza, then had triple-scoop ice cream sundaes with extra cherries on top. El Cinco begged to camp out in the living room, emphasizing their plans to stay up until three or four o'clock in the morning.
9:30 pm –
Some cherished memories are like old photographs, the still
snapshots faded sepia with the passing of time. Other memories play in my mind's
eye like high-definition technicolor movies. I hope Saturday will be a technicolor Remember that time when… type of day for them, because it will be for me.
Tell me about a technicolor day from your childhood. I love hearing about special memories.