As proud parents and grandparents we have always enjoyed snuggling up in front of the television and watching movies or cartoons with giggling and happy children.
What really scares me now is that there is far too much adverse content and language on many of the day-to-day shows, which we see now that may certainly not always be fit for the tender eyes and ears of our young and innocent youngsters.
For those of us who survived through parenthood and are now more mellow grandparents one would have to go a long way back to remember what we got to watch on the telly after homework and before and after supper and the dishes? I am sure that most of us who were parents and are now slightly older and wiser grammas and grandpas will always remember those hectic but delightful hours of babysitting and trying to impress our younger siblings?
No matter what kind of a mood we may have been in we had very little choice about being jolly and full of fun while hunkering down and slowly playing their silly games or reading those big story books while using all the appropriate expressions and sounds. We will always be taken big hand in tiny hand to sit down in front of the television and look forward to putting up with such loveable characters as: The Friendly Giant, Muppets, Sesame Street, Barney and friends, Thomas and friends, Theodore Tugboat, the Misters Rogers and Dressup, Dora the Explorer, Franklin, the Disney characters, and on and on into the wonderful world of youthful magic and let’s pretend cartoons and movies such as Bambi, Alice in Wonderland, Lassie, and all the rest.
Through all those sometimes stressful, but very gratifying and precious experiences of blending in with the young and very sharp new generation, we somehow persevered and actually learned all about patience and the true meaning of love, cuddles and tears even though we often ached and needed a snooze after trying to keep up with their totally unpredictable antics, tricks, and demands. Along the way we all had to become masters of answering all of their quite often very challenging questions with the answer that will keep everyone happy or quickly change the subject, how to spread peanut butter and jam perfectly on crackers for snack time, to encourage bathroom breaks early instead of in panic or to late mode, and to agree to join them with your ‘blankey’ on the couch, rocking chair, or the floor when it came time for a nap. If the weather cooperates during our weekend or whatever adventures together with the children we can always send them outside in the fresh air to run, play, and hopefully wear themselves out before supper or bedtime. We could also help them to organize some games with the neighbourhood kids, go for a bike ride or a drive and then stop at the playground and the ice cream stand before heading home just in time to greet their parents as they return from their well-deserved get-away weekend.
Of course in this new modern and high-tech era we have all had to adjust to the fast paced 24/7 world of entertainment and all the tantalizing distractions that have to somehow be fit in with a regular schedule of school, church chores, exercise, games, family, friends, and of course sleep. In order to keep up with our ever-growing flock we have saved a lot of our old children’s movies, cartoons, series, and a few favourite old games to dig out for special occasions.
With networks such as Crave, Netflix, and many others you can now dial in on thousands of great movies from both yesteryears, as well as all the super action hero flicks of today that all come in a huge choice for all age groups. In one of those bargain bins in the electronics section of a store last week my wife actually found and snapped up a copy of Steven Spielberg’s wonderful classic movie ET for $5, which we hadn’t seen for 35 years but laughed, and cried, and loved it all over again.
Whatever the case there will always be lots of great entertainment available for the little duffers if we carefully check it all out, but we must always strive to enjoy those kind of precious magic moments together with all generations of family and friends. Have a spooky but safe Halloween, dress warm under your costume, and have a great week, all of you.