What ever happened to lazy summers?
The summer childcare scramble, and remembering the time my dad left me in a movie theater when I was 5.
Only in the 70s, in a different era
There’s a story that I’ve told on my old blog once of having an early memory of spending the day at my dad’s store when I was very young. My parents must have been in a strapped childcare situation that day. This was before my brother was born and before my mom brought my grandmother over to the U.S. to help care for us while my parents worked. Between their respective jobs, spending the day with my dad at his midtown Manhattan wig store (another story, soon) was the more viable option over the hospital where my mom worked as a nurse.
I was about five years old. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the first time my dad really had to watch me all by himself, outside of a few hours here and there. I can picture him grasping at straws to keep me entertained in his store all day because at one point, sometime after lunch, I remember being walked into a movie theater a few doors down on 58th street where his store was located, my four year old hand clutched in his as he and the manager talked in hushed voices. We then walked into the cool, dim theater together and he sat me down in an aisle seat in the middle of the room. He told me to stay put, not to leave no matter what, that a movie would be playing and that he would be back to get me when it was over.
And then my dad left.