When I was a kid, my family didn’t take big fancy summer vacations. Instead, we went to the farm.
“The farm” is my family’s dairy farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. My dad grew up there, and my two uncles took it over from my grandfather when he passed away in the late 70s. My grandmother continued living there for years until she finally had to moved into an assisted living home. Today one of my uncles and his two adult children, my cousins, are in charge.
Last night as I scrolled Facebook, I came across a mention of the movie “The Hunt for Red October.” Long-time friends and readers of this blog may remember that I have a particular soft spot for this movie…and it’s all because of the farm. There wasn’t any significant TV reception there, so we turned to movies, and my grandmother had several VHS movies stored in a cabinet. Most of them were old classics, which didn’t hold a lot of interest to my siblings or me. But somehow, she also had “The Hunt for Red October.”
In the morning, we’d get up early and catch a ride over to the barn to feed calves and help out with other chores. We were a family of city kids, so farm work was a fun novelty, and my uncle paid us so we earned a bit of money too. We’d get a ride back to Grandmother’s house around 9 or 10. We’d usually watch “The Price Is Right,” which was on one of the only channels that came through clearly, and eat lunch.
And often, after lunch, we’d watch “The Hunt for Red October.” If I’ve seen that movie once, I’ve seen it 30 times.
I have so many extremely fond memories of summer days at the farm. Watching this totally run-of-the-mill 1990 action movie over and over is somehow one of them — to the point that the mere mention of the movie on a random Facebook post was enough to prompt a comment and bring a smile to my face.
I think my parents probably remember us watching it, but they might not. Different things always stick out in different minds, right? My siblings and I all swear up and down that when we were kids, my mom mixed regular and honey nut Cheerios in a container because the latter alone was “too sweet.” On rare occasions, I would sneak a coveted bowl of “full honey nut.” And yet when this came up a few years ago, my mom had no memory of it! (Or so she claimed…)
As I thought about all this in the span of only a minute or so, I realized that someday Emma and Charlotte will have their own weird, idiosynchratic, hopefully happy memories of growing up — and those memories may or may not stick out to me as notable or special. It’s the kind of parenting realization that’s so obvious yet somehow still mind-boggling.
My kids are individuals who will have views and ideas and memories that are totally independent from my own? Really?
I totally can’t wait to find out what they are!