My memories of the time I spent with my mother during childhood are limited. I grew up in a small farm town in Massachusetts and spent most of my free time outdoors. Leave the house at 8:00, come back for a bologna and catsup sandwich at lunch, and then go back outside until dinner at 6:00. We didn’t take any vacations together and we didn’t spend a lot of time as a family. For the most part, the kids did their thing and the adults did theirs.
My mom and I played a lot of video games together for a period of three years, and when I was very young, we spent a great deal of time at horse shows, but otherwise I spent most of my childhood in the presence of children.
Brothers, sisters and friends.
Memories with my mom are truly scant.
But there was one thing that we always had:
All My Children, the ABC soap opera.
In Blackstone, Massachusetts in 1975, kindergarten was a half-day affair, and I was blessed with the morning half of the day. I would come home on the bus around 12:30, eat lunch, and sit down in the living room to watch my mother’s one and only soap opera, All My Children.
A questionable choice for a five year old boy, but my mom was never a big believer in conventional parenting.
And while kindergarten ended soon enough and half-days become full school days, my mom would keep me updated on the All My Children universe for years afterwards, filling me on on the latest news surrounding Erica Kane and a man named Adam who had a crazy secret twin brother hidden in a secret room of his mansion.
Sometimes in the summers I would even sit down with Mom on the couch and watch.
ABC announced last week that after 40 years, All My Children is coming to an end.
It’s a sad reminder that no matter how inexorable something may seem, nothing lasts forever.
While I have not watched or discussed or even thought about All My Children for years, its cancellation feels like another small piece of my mother has been chipped away.
Mom passed away in 2007, and the world has already changed in so many ways. This represents another change, a new iteration of the world with a little less of my mom included.
I sometimes wonder if she would even recognize it anymore.
Each time the world changes, I feel like the tangible reminders of my mother’s existence fade away a little more, and my grip on the memories of her fade as well.
Sometimes I wish everything would just slow down a little, and that the world that my mother grew up in and lived could last a little while longer.