I was four years old, and we were living in Schreveport. I don’t remember much about our little apartment, except that the short-term home my parents made for me there was a happy one. We would have “picnics”, which consisted of my Mom making plates of balogna sandwiches and barbecue chips, and instead of sitting at the table, we’d eat them sitting cross-legged on the living room floor. Maybe we talked about puppies. Maybe we talked about my “new baby brother.” I don’t know. All I know is that my Mom made something memorable out of the ordinary.
For his 27th birthday, my Dad got this record called “Let’s Get Small”, a comedy album by Steve Martin. One of my favorite things was, and still is, to hear my Daddy laugh, and he thought this record was hilarious. At four years old, I didn’t get the jokes, but they made my Daddy laugh, and that made me happy. Plus, Steve Martin had a happy, young, fun-sounding voice. Thirty-five years later, I can still see sun splashing through the big glass patio doors and windows, making everything bright, and hear Steve Martin’s banjo playing “Ramblin’ Guy” and my Daddy laughing.
Sometimes, Dad would make popcorn, the “real” off-the-stove kind, (no microwave for us back then!). Or, every now and then, he’d make fudge. We’d sit up and watch a movie, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, AND . . . we COULD STAY UP TIL MIDNIGHT!!!!!!!! We could stay up til THE TV WENT OFF! You’d see a Wendy’s commercial or something, then the Star Spangled Banner would play, and the television stations would go off the air. Staying up that late was HUGE to a four-year-old.
I didn’t know it then, but we had virtually nothing, in the way of money. Some kids might have grown up in fancy houses, but I say this with 100% certainty, NONE were happier than me!
Happiness comes in many forms, and you never know which memories will last a lifetime for a kid. You don’t have to be rich, or have a P.H.D., to give a kid the world.
Have a fun Friday, everyone!