It is the season of goodbyes. From nursery to kindergarten, middle to high school and perhaps the most painful finale for parents, high school to college, we bid farewell not only to summer but to our children. The laments seen on a recent visit to my Facebook page is evidence. “The house is so empty! My baby has left for college!” “I never dreamed it would be this hard.” “That empty room!” One friend accompanied her sentiment with a You Tube clip of the melancholy but beautiful “She’s Leaving Home” by the Beatles. It made me cry.
When my two sons were not yet old enough to walk, I recall an older woman stopping me in the supermarket to offer these words of wisdom. “Remember this time in your life. In the blink of an eye, those boys will be grown and gone. Cherish every moment!” It is indeed a cliché that is heard a thousand times over. Yet it hit home, those foreboding words from a stranger. Since then I have tried, really tried to live in the moment with my sons, now twelve and fourteen.
If there is one thing that I will remember, from this charmed time in my life it is a simple cartoon that my boys have loved from pre-school to almost high school. Scooby Doo, that timeless classic throwback that has somehow survived the Disney channel craze to remain beloved for so many, young and old.
The beauty of Scooby Doo for me is that it exemplifies fun, mystery, excitement and a small dose of fear, all without inappropriate language/behavior now so common in children’s television. The characters range from the easy-going hippy Shaggy, whose love of eating was first and foremost in his priorities, to the strong, capable Velma, whose personality proved that brains over beauty could indeed win out. Daphne charmed us with her gorgeous red locks, hand on hip poses and love of fashion. Freddie, the amiable and strong male hero of the four, always capable, always calm. And of course, Scooby Doo, the loveable, clumsy Great Dane with a penchant for Scooby snacks and along with his side kick Shaggy, the first to flee when frightened.
They sit in our library, the VCR’s and DVD’s perhaps twenty in all. Aloha Scooby Doo with the gorgeous backdrop of Hawaii and the tiki monsters that attack the tourists, will forever remain a favorite. I fear their shelf life is short-lived as my sons grow and move onto other interests as is the pattern of life.
And when they have gone, it will not be the empty bedrooms I pass that make me swallow, but rather the memory of those comforting Scooby Doo episodes, the enjoyment they gave our family and the fleeting passage of time.