As sad as it may sound, I’d often found my childhood “heroes” in the television shows I watched as a child. From the time I was very small, I would find a character with whom I could identify and I would want to be just like them. I’ve often thought back on my childhood and only considered The X-Files and its profound impact it made on my life, but in getting these Family Matters episodes, I’ve remembered what preceded X-Files.
I used to watch that show religiously until I discovered X-Files and I identified with the entire Winslow family, but mostly Laura. I think what I loved most about the show was that it featured black people who looked like me, instead of the token black person that appears on shows today who are often light-skinned or green-eyed. The idea of a show containing not one, but several black people who did not live in abject poverty and did not speak as if they were from the hood and lived the full American dream…well, needless to say, I enjoy every minute I watched of it. Carl and Harriet were my mom and dad when I was 9 and saw more of the babysitters and daycare assistants than my mother and definitely my father and the kids were the siblings I would never have. I watched Family Matters and thought “I want to be just like her!” whenever I saw Laura and I remember clearly wishing that my family was the Winslow family. Eventually, I got older and my TV heroes changed, but in watching these episodes that I’ve not seen in more than a decade, all the happy memories of my childhood came rushing back to me.
I mention this because I’ve been a little down lately since I’ve been so unnecessarily sick and remembering the little joys of my childhood is sometimes what I need to raise my spirits a bit.