Monday, July 20, 2009
Thank You Mom, Dad, Neil
As I have gotten older and my parents have passed on, there are many things I recall that I am grateful that they "forced" me to do. I say "forced" because I would not have done them on my own and, at the time, would not truly appreciate the value of them.
One was making me hold my knife and fork correctly. My presumption was always that if you could get the sustenance in your mouth you were going to survive and that is all that mattered. I was in "raised by wolves" phase. But I never knew what my parents knew and that was good table manners hold one in good stead for "social survival." I can go anywhere and dine with anyone and not be mortified that I am holding my knife like I am logging.
The other thing that comes to mind today is "forcing" me to watch television. Typically parents try and limit this exercise. And mine were no different. I do remember "Love American Style" and "Hitchcock's The Birds" were forbidden to us. But there were moments that we were rousted and physically placed on the couch and told that what we were about to see was historically important and we would be part of history by watching it.
Two majors were: the moon landing and President Nixon resigning office. The others were watching "Roots" and "I, Claudius." I learned invaluable things from all of those experiences including: my parents cared about me in some way.
So today marks the 40th Anniversary of the moon landing. I was just shy of 7 and probably shy of everything else. I know I already knew about envy, and fantasy and that sawdust was for soaking up urine in the classroom. This would be my fourth thing.
What a remarkable event it was to think for the first time ever a human being had walked on a surface not on this planet. These guys were far away and talking to the president on the telephone. The future was here. And soon, I am sure, the modern kitchen from the Jetson's cartoon will be a reality. What fun! It must be right around the corner, I presumed. My dad had sideburns and my mom wore outfits right out of Farside cartoons and we were four and we had a TV and grandparents. Life was good even then. Damn, my lesson in envy made me forget to appreciate that at the time, but I do now.
Thanks, Mom and Dad for making me watch television 40 years ago today.