When I was little, I watched TV families who lived in exotic places (i.e., not St. Francis) or went on exotic vacations (i.e., not to their Grandma’s cottage 40 minutes out of town). I didn’t know anyone who lived in New York City like the kids on A Family Affair or stopped off in a real Old West Ghost Town like the Partridge Family. I remember watching specials about Disneyland and Disney World on the Wonderful World of Disney and imagining what sort of magic would need to happen for me to ever go there. (Little knowing I would one day move about 75 min away, making WDW an updated version of my Grandma’s cottage–nearby, affordable fun.)
I’m now a good deal older than the little girl who watched the world pass by on a condole tv from her perch on harvest gold carpet. I’ve been so many places that I never thought I’d see. And, somehow I’ve raised two kids who have seen more of the world before hitting their teens than I had by the time I was 30.
Now, I’m turning 50, and in thinking about how to celebrate, I thought back to the Brady Bunch, who went to Hawaii–land of cursed Tiki gods and even more cursed boy-perms. We’ve never been to Hawaii. Let’s go to Hawaii, I thought!
Which is why, at this very moment, I’m listening to Sigur Ros & writing this in Row 52, while the kids are distracted by Wreck It Ralph, and up in Row 39 Ned’s watching Dave Grohl’s new documentary as we collectively defy gravity and the cares of the world by zooming across a continent and an ocean.
So, on behalf of my family, thank you, Mike and Carol Brady, for your wacky, improbable family adventures and inspiration. Aloha!