Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Morning

On Sunday mornings when I was little, my dad always read the comics pages to me. We'd laugh at Garfield, wonder what would happen next with Spiderman and puzzle over Zippy (I still don't understand Zippy). I would always pour myself a bowl of Berry Berry Kix for breakfast, then I would sit and listen to my dad read the bubbles over the character's heads. By the time I turned back to my cereal, it was a big pink and purple mush that I wouldn't want to eat. After a while, my mom started refusing to buy Berry Berry Kix.

When I discovered that the newspaper published black and white comics during the week, I was thrilled. I got to spread the weekend joy out to every day! Before leaving for middle school in the mornings, I'd read the comics while my dad read the front page and business news. When I got to high school and found it impossible to get up in time to do more than shovel a bowl of cereal (not Berry Berry Kix, sadly) into my mouth before leaving in the morning, I would read the comics when I got home in the afternoon. I had an order I'd read them in, skipping over the ones I didn't understand (I gave up on Zippy) and saving Fox Trot for last.

When my siblings left for college my mom wrote them letters every week, and she did the same for me when I went to Michigan. I checked my mailbox regularly that first week, knowing that eventually I'd get my first letter at college. When I finally got mail, I was surprised to see that not only did I have a letter from my mom, but there was a second thick envelope. When I opened it, I found the Sunday comics from the weekend before. For my entire first year (until I started feeling guilty about the cost of postage) my mom sent me the comics every week I was at school.  She'd still stick them into care packages or boxes of necessities she'd ship me in the next three years.

 When I'm home for a weekend these days, my parents set aside the comics for when I manage to drag myself out of bed. They've changed over the years, adding new strips and getting rid of others. Instead of reading the comics together, we've started working together on the Globe Magazine crossword.  Some days we finish over breakfast, but most days we let it sit on the table throughout the day and add words as we figure them out.  It's a new routine, and so far no bowls of Kix have been wasted.

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