Remember When You Were Young?

He was a walking mountain.

His summit wasn’t peppered with frost just yet; that would come years later.

In my six year old eyes, my father was invincible, a myth that had grown since I last saw him two years earlier. The gap in time would be the shortest of many to come.

“Shortest” is how I describe it now. But at the age of six, two years might as well have been fifty. Still, I’d stitched together enough of an impression to squeal in excitement when I saw him that night.

It was a Friday night. Pentecostal and Spanish, my family attended church service seven days a week. (The term “school night” never brought a reprieve from worship).

The devotional was in full swing with tambourines jangling, cowbells ringing, and people singing. I was sitting in a pew, my feet swinging inches off the carpeted floor, when an usher tapped me on the shoulder and pointed to the church entrance.

That’s when I saw him.

His tall, muscular form took up the entire doorway. He had on a black leather jacket, black jeans, and black shoes. He’d combed his hair back and trimmed his beard into a solid, neat form.

“He named you after Michael Knight from Knight Rider,” my mom would tell me. It was my favorite show. I’m not sure if what she said was true, but I did think my father looked like a Latin David Hasselhoff except with facial hair, like a real man.

To say I ran down the church aisle is an understatement. I bolted towards my father yelling “PAAAAPIIIII!” (dad in Spanish) without a thought to how I looked to everyone around me.

I jumped into his arms, and he scooped me up as if I were the lightest thing in the world. I can still feel his needle-like whiskers on my cheek as he kissed me.

I was going to spend the weekend with him; my mom hadn’t told me anything. She’d secretly packed my clothes in a bag and brought it with her.

God, the church, even my mother melted away in a blur of pure ecstasy. I was leaving right then and there with my father. He carried me to his car and buckled me in. My mother couldn’t afford a car, so knowing my father had one left me in awestruck.

We drove off into the night, and I had him all to myself.

This is a powerful, sacred memory I keep tucked away in a safe part of my mind. I pull it out every once in awhile to siphon some of the positive energy I felt that night. I blame the always honest, never boring ifidiebeforeisleep for my little reflective post. Do yourself a favor and visit her blog.

What fun, beautiful, or powerful childhood memories do you hold onto and revisit?

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14 comments on “Remember When You Were Young?

    • I appreciate your visit. 🙂

      I’d love to hear one of your own childhood memories. They shape us in ways that we don’t understand until later in life, and it’d be interesting take a peek at one of your mental treasures.

    • Thanks. If only I could tap into these deep places when I write my other works. 🙂

      Oh, and feel free to share a childhood memory of your own. I’m always interested in hearing from you.

  1. Very touching. Now you got me thinking…I think one that always comes back is when my Papou (grandfather) would visit me at recess and slide aero bars through the wired fence. (I don’t think that would fly by in this day and age!) I always come back to that memory and smile and feel the love. Back then I just wanted that chocolate bar, now I could go for that love. God Bless him. Thanks for that blog.

    • That’s a wonderful memory, Chrissy. I can imagine how much that time at recess excited you. I doubt many of the other kids had relatives who did the same, so it was a kind of special treat all your own.

      Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  2. This is exquisitely written Mike, I felt like I was right there watching. Most of my favorite memories are from times spent in the woods. I would wander for hours, making discoveries, imaging myself in a thousand different places, acting out a thousand different stories. I still do that whenever I can. What a treasure you have in this memory. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  3. Pingback: My Memory Sucks « Honesty

  4. It’s hard for me to watch reruns of “Knight Rider” now. I used to love the show as a kid, but as an adult, I can’t help but nitpick how silly it is to think a talking car could just suddenly fly through the air when you press its magic “turbo boost” button. Plus, I never used to notice David Hasselhoff’s overacting. It’s all so overdone.

    Not every show is like this, though. I can still watch “Star Trek: The Next Generation”, and even though I know some things are a bit far-fetched, the production quality is high enough that it’s not so noticeable. “Knight Rider”, on the other hand, is just one of those sloppy shows where they didn’t care as much.

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