There is some things that are universal for those of us who grew up in the 70’s & 80’s. Family bar-b-ques, turkey on Thanksgiving, playing horse in the driveway, and Saturday morning cartoons. There is also something universal of parents, well, everywhere! And that is wanting to share those same childhood experiences with our children. For whatever reason, we feel it is necessary to show our children these things that we did when we “were your age”. Tradition is of course a huge factor, but so is nostalgia for our own childhood.
What could be more nostalgic than those favorite cartoons? Just listening to the first few seconds of the opening theme song can get you giddy. I remember those days very fondly. Getting to the living room, turning on the tv, laying down on my stomach, hands under my chin, and watching my favorite characters get into, and out of, trouble. When we think back things were so much simpler then. Of course it was! We didn’t have a mortgage, or a heat bill to think about. No. All we had to worry about was whether Huey, Dewey, and Louie could save their Uncle Scrooge’s fortune from the evil Beagle Boys. On rare occasion my siblings and I would fight over what to watch, but for the most part it was a ritual. Same shows, same day, same time.
Now that we’re older we enjoy sharing these Saturday morning rituals with the kids. The shows are different. Often times we watch their cartoons as adults and think “this is so weird”, and stumble upon that “ah ha” moment where we realize that our own parents must have had all of the same thoughts about our beloved programs. In my house, the ritual differs a little from when I was small. For one, he has SO MANY MORE channels to choose from. We do not always watch the same shows. But we do always break the rules and have breakfast in the living room, usually a plate of waffles, and go to town on the shows. While I do not particularly have any strong feelings about many of his shows, I do really love the ritual of watching these with him, and going through similar motions that I went through as a kid.
Sharing our traditions and rituals with our kids is a great bonding method. They might not realize it at the time, but they will when they have children of their own and they find themselves going through similar motions, but with their own twist, to watching their kids shows. I wonder how strange those shows will be?
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS
GARFIELD & FRIENDS
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