Monday, November 14, 2011

Leave it to Charlie Brown

I’d like to get a little something out of the way first. It has obviously been a really long time since I’ve posted here. I wasn’t even entirely sure I remembered my login to tell the truth. I’m sure there aren’t many (if any) people that still even remember that I have this blog or would even think to check for an update. Those that do stumble across it, I’m glad you found it. I intend to start posting again. We’ll see how that goes…
Tonight my 3 year old daughter asked to watch the Charlie Brown Christmas special that we happen to have on DVD. This is no reflection of her readiness for Christmas since she asks for it year round but as I sat down in front of the TV to put the DVD in for her, I found myself wanting to watch it. Normally this time of year, I groan at all the decorations and music I hear as I’m out and about. I’m typically never ready to even discuss Christmas until after Thanksgiving.
This year I feel a little differently though. I can’t say that I’m quite ready to embrace it, but I haven’t minded it as much. Maybe it’s the “Big Eastern Syndicate” finally getting to me…the same people that push Christmas on us earlier and earlier every year. However I don’t think so. I think as I’ve gotten older I just miss my childhood more and more.
As I sat down in front of my TV tonight and the first scene of Charlie Brown came on, with the snow and the music we all know too well, it washed over me. I closed my eyes and felt myself back in my family’s living room at 8 or so years old. I could feel my fuzzy winter pajamas and see the multicolored Christmas tree to my right. I could feel, hear and smell the wood burning stove that I always hated as a kid but now just feels like home. The overall feeling of happiness and security that memory gave me was a strong one. It was only for a second before I snapped myself out of it and went back to folding the laundry that I had previously been working on while Corinne snuggled up in our recliner in the living room. At first it left me incredibly sad. My childhood “home” doesn’t exist any longer. My parents divorced when I was in college and my family changed. Though some family still lives there, I can’t ever go back to what was my home as a kid. There aren’t many people that probably can, I guess. Once the temporary sadness passed, it made me realize just how lucky I am to have had a happy and healthy childhood. There are so many adults that can’t say that. So many children currently living in a world of instability…and worse.
These are obviously not groundbreaking thoughts but ones that reminded me of just how important it is to be the best parent I can be. What memories will my kids have of their childhood home and their childhood in general? Will they be as warm and fuzzy? Do Chuck and I give them that overall sense of love? I hope so. I hope their memories of our family’s metaphorical wood-burning stove will bring them back to a time and a place they can remember with the same amount of warmth. I don’t believe much matters beyond that.

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