Saturday mornings used to mean something. You remember, right? When I try and describe it to my kids, they don’t get it. It’s almost like trying to paint them a picture of magic. You just can’t quite capture it.
I guess you just had to be there.
Nowadays, there are so many choices. My kids will come drifting downstairs on a Saturday morning and there’s no excitement to be had. They aren’t gearing up for some early morning cartoons, or fighting over the latest box of cereal. There’s no freakin’ Tang.
But it’s not their fault. When they pick up the remote, there are 500 different things they can watch. When they want breakfast, they’ve got a selection to choose from.
“What do you want? Frosted Flakes? Bagels? Shall I whip up a truffle omelette?” (You know, I gotta score points in the Dad Department).
In the late ’70s and early ’80s, Saturday mornings were the best. Back then, I used to slam my feet against the bottom of my little brother Dave’s bunk to wake him up. It was 7 AM, and our single mom would be fast asleep in her room, exhausted from her long week of working just to keep our world going. So I would raise that crappy piece of particle board under my brother’s mattress with both of my feet, and then I’d let it slam down HARD back onto its flimsy frame. It didn’t matter. He was already up. We both were. We didn’t have to be, of course. No kid in my neighborhood had to be, but we were. Why?
Tarzan, Lone Ranger, Zorro!
We’d roll out of bed with such quickness back then — I’d be wearing my Philadelphia Eagles pajamas, and Dave would be in his Phillies ones. We would race to beat each other to the bathroom to pee. And, sometimes, we just couldn’t wait — we’d cross streams. We didn’t care!
Hurry, before Mom wakes up!
We’d hit the stairs like wild horses, and we’d descend like rolling thunder. Looking back now, I’m sure that my mom had heard us. I mean, our giddy was loud. But, she let us do our thing. I like to think that she was just letting us have this time. I mean, OK, I’m sure she delighted in an extra hour or two of rest, but I’m also pretty sure she knew just how special Saturday mornings were to us.
Scooby and Scrappy Doo!
Those were magic times, man. I remember them so clearly. Now, when my kids shuffle into the kitchen on Saturday mornings, I swear that half of the time they don’t even know it’s Saturday! I could tell them to get ready for the school bus, and I think they’d do it. But Dave and I would raid the special junk cereal drawer that Mom let us break into on Saturday morning and then run right for our 19 ft/1,200 lbs. Zenith Behemoth TV — eyes glued.
Count Chocula tasted way better in the ’80s, too. They must’ve changed their recipe since then, but I know it doesn’t taste the same as it did when I was 9 years old. That sugary sweet treat used to squish in my mouth as I wrestled the channel dial on the television. Eventually, a faint ball of light would light up the screen.
Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. There!
Fred Flintsone! There he is! THIS CHANNEL! YES YES YES!!!
Dave and I would sit cross-legged three feet away from the massive screen, while balancing cups of juice on the rug (something we’d never do if Mom was awake). We were always moments away from a stain disaster, but it didn’t matter. This was our time. And it was awesome.
My kids are sharp, and lovely, but I just can’t make them understand what it felt like waking up with Uncle Dave on those Saturday mornings way back when. Technology, and time, has erased not only those days for them, but also the understanding of them.
I guess that’s the way it will be now. You either lived through those perfect Saturday mornings, or you didn’t. You either get what I’m talking about right here, right now, or you will click away wondering … what?!
For what it’s worth: I hope you’re remembering it all.