Sadly, Saturday Morning Cartoons have come to an end.  No network carries animated shows for kids to watch as their weekend begins.  It was a ritual that started in the 1960s, bringing families together in such a simple way.

My family was no different.

Like most kids, my sister and I got up early to watch cartoons.  We would even sleep in the living room the night before so we could rush to the TV faster when morning came.

Many times, Dad would come and have breakfast in the living room, watching the shows and keeping an eye on me and April.  As a farmer, it was one of the few things he could do with us, since he was often so busy.  In time, I found out he was more invested in what was on than I earlier thought.

When the 1990s hit, I was still watching, partially out of habit.  Dad still kept up with what I was doing, though didn’t have to keep a constant eye on me and my sister.  Sometimes, he would come into the living room and ask, “Is that Pirates of Dark Water show on yet?”  It wasn’t an isolated incident.  He made a point to watch it.

At the time, I didn’t realize the signal this sent me.  When I was a kid, the predominant notion was “cartoons are for kids.”  But my Dad, a Midwestern farmer, was interested in a cartoon and no one batted an eye.

I stayed interested in cartoons, fully embracing the unconscious lesson Dad taught me.

Saturday Morning Cartoons are where I found a bond with my family.  Watching those shows exposed me to the X-Men, which brought me to comics.  They are where I found a joy of animation, which extended to Japanese anime when I reached college.

Saturday Morning Cartoons shaped who I am, something I will be eternally grateful for.

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