Friday, February 8, 2008

The end of another cartoon era

I dreamed I was part of the High School Musical cast last night. My guess is that I’ve seen the movie too many times.

I think the dream was part of my grieving process over the loss of Sponge Bob Square Pants. Not that there’s a relationship between the shows or networks, but I feel better providing a reason for my dream.

I was making dinner last night, happily listening to the Sponge Man and Mr. Crabs. They were trying to make money, I was wondering if it was the “Pretty Patties” episode. Then my daughter altered my world—she changed the channel to a show I didn’t recognize.

No one had ever pressed the remote when the Sponge Man was on…at least not in my presence. I felt my heart tear just a little and realized another era was ending. I suffered through this with Doug, Rugrats and Hey Arnold too. Children grow up too fast…

This may seem trite to some of you, but many modern cartoons and TV shows lack the wholesome quality of my generation’s shows. Although, I feel my parents cringing right now…

When you find tolerable kids’ shows and listen to them over and over, for countless years, memorizing the jokes, valuing the life lessons...you develop a fondness for these shows, some you even love. You discuss them at mealtimes, laughing with your children, secretly applauding when they know a character acted less than honorably.

The Sponge Man may not provide many life lessons, but he’s funny, in a convoluted, bizarre kind of way. And being a closet biologist—I love the twisted marine-biology references. My children never even picked up on those, thereby missing the literary layering and complexity of the show.

This morning, I’m reconciling myself to a life without the Sponge Man—it’s not easy… I’m learning to appreciate Hannah Montana, or maybe I just appreciate Billy Ray. Zach and Cody drive me nuts, but I tolerate Drake and Josh. Somewhere out there must be another show I can love along with my children. Or, maybe I’ve reached that dreaded generation gap and will never relate to anything in their lives again...

I’m not even sure I relate to my generation this morning. I just discovered that Tom Cruise dated Cher in the 80s. Somehow, that's just wrong…

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ohh.....Tarter sauce!!!
You have my condolences mark

The Marathon Man said...

If you have a gap with your kids I think it will be small and short lived; you go above and beyond to stay in tune with them. You make me think more about my own too.

BlackBeltat50 said...

Truly sad that our kids outgrow the cartoons that we've learned to love. I had made up a theme song for each of my children but then the sad days came, one by one, when they no longer wanted to hear their own theme song.

Hang in there. If you know to say: "That's just wrong", you're in the thick of it.

Reverie said...

Thank you for your comments--sounds like I'm not the only parent who has cartoon attachment issues :).

I hope you wrote down the theme songs BB@50--your children will love them again one day.