89 Days of Greatness: Day #2

May 26, 2014

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If we simply must name a culprit, we’d have to point to hip replacement surgery. It’s a stretch, but I think I could make the case for it. Yes, hip replacement surgery is to blame credit for the absolute greatness of the five of us gathering in front of Brian’s iPad, watching one of the greatest episodes in TV history that originally aired about 30 or so years ago.

Last week, Momma had hip replacement surgery. The surgeon was great, and Momma was a superstar despite a pretty nasty post-op complication. She’s doing super now. But I knew that with her surgery being on May 21, there was absolutely no way that our family would be going to the lake for Memorial Day weekend the way we usually do every year. Daddy’s in great shape, but he couldn’t be expected to take care of her and make meals for both of them by himself. Most of my larger family went to the lake, and Brian and the littles and I wanted to be here to be in town to be able to help at the hospital and at Mom and Dad’s if we could or at least just be present.

On our visit yesterday, Mariana and my dad – known to the kids as Big Daddy – sat a spell in front of the TV and together watched an episode of Gilligan’s Island. I wish I had a picture of the two of them there in matching chairs watching Thurston and Mrs. Howell say this and that to Gilligan and the Skipper. The boys didn’t care about it one bit because they were too busy knocking plastic balls into smithereens in a game of backyard baseball with their Uncle Andy, and Brian and I were inside talking to the patient. But every now and then, we’d look up and see Big Daddy and Mariana enjoy time together in front of that old classic, and I’d smile. So sweet.

So today, when we’d gone back over to Gramma and Big Daddy’s house and marveled at Mom’s ability to motor around in the post-op walker they gave her, we stopped by the barber shop before heading home so that the boys (including Brian) could stop their impromptu tribute to ZZ Top and get their hair cut. Both dogs were in the car with us because we wanted my folks’ dog, Molly, to meet our new dog, Lady. And how on earth could we leave Buster, a.k.a. the Manatee With Fur, at home by himself?!  He had to be part of the fun.

That meant that Mariana and I were sitting in the car with the dogs while we waited for the guys to get shorn. We’re not big on too much technology in our family, and we sure don’t usually watch videos on my phone. But I thought Mariana might like to see a Gilligan’s Island episode while we waited, just for a JBILY. (Videos on my phone are about as frequently occurring as Haley’s Comet; this was a treat for her.)

Apparently, though, straight-up Gilligan’s Island on YouTube is not the option you’d imagine it to be – I’ll leave you to imagine what is on there – and something made me think of showing her an episode of Silver Spoons.

Oh, I’m going to catch so. much. flak. for this from my friends Mary Beth, Marcy, Cindy, and Marina, and I think I can hear my brothers de-programming my numbers from their phones since I have just admitted my Silver Spoons / Ricky Schroder allegiance on the internet.  (Does it matter that I have never watched a Silver Spoons episode online until today?)  But seriously, Silver Spoons was the absolute greatest. That should just be  obvious to the world. [Let’s pause for a moment for everyone to join together to sing the theme song: “Here we are / face to face / a couple of silver spoons … “]

The particular episode I found was sheer genius:  Mr. T is brought in for a bit as 12-year-old Ricky Stratton’s body guard.  Wow.  Mariana and I had seen about half of it by the time the boys came out of the barber shop, and so we had to stop.

And at that moment was born the idea for Day #2 of 89 Days of Greatness:  we’d watch that whole episode as a family during dinner.  OK, I know that this might not seem like a huge deal to a great many of you, but we nev-er — and by that I mean nevvv-errr — bring technology to the table during a meal.  So excited were they because this is such a rare treat that they didn’t even care that they had exactly ZERO idea who Ricky Schroder was / is or what Silver Spoons was.  (Sometimes, the epic ways in which I have failed as a parent become painfully clear.)

We watched the whole episode, laughing out loud together over all the Mr. T scenes, quoting them back to each other.  Classic.  Highly recommend it.

It was little, and it was free.  But for us, it was Day #2’s greatness moment.  It’s not that we didn’t have other highlights; we did … one of which involved bright pink silly string in the backyard.  But this is the one that I thought of that could stand apart and make that second day of summer be just a little more worth remembering.  And considering that they were still quoting parts of it as they got ready for bed, I’d say it was a success.

Already ready for the next.  (Episode of Silver Spoons, I mean.)

Godspeed.

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