Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my granddaughter’s birthday and tomorrow is mine. One of us is eight and the other sixty-seven. No hints.

I did get to thinking about the difference in life perception from an eight year old to me. There are a lot of experiential years in between that provide a knowing look on the condition of human kind and there is a lot of youthful wonderment in eight years of existence that I have forgotten and should probably embrace for a gestalt understanding of life and times.

When I was eight television was just coming into the home. My TV-programs were on only three channels. CBS, NBC and Dumont. ABC had not yet been formed into the third national network.

At first, I watched TV at a neighbor’s home since we didn’t get one until later. We kids (I can’t even remember my young friends names) watched Howdy Doody, Gabby Hayes, Captain Video and Tom Corbett Space Cadet. They were generally fifteen-minute programs starting around five in the evening.

After we got a television a year or so later, I remember my Mother coming home from teaching elementary school and while preparing dinner Kate Smith could be heard in the living room singing her theme song, “When the moon comes over the mountain”.

My granddaughter’s TV choices are over six hundred channels. I imagine her birthday thoughts are just as profound as mine. Her gifts were a few electronic games and books and goodies from classmates, parents, cousins and grandparents. Her year will linger long in merriment for she has only lived one-eighth of her life.

Tomorrow I will get a few birthday wishes and calls, a couple of cards and a gift and a hug from my wife, but the day will pass quickly as they all do in one’s sixty-seventh year.

I’ll try to talk to my granddaughter about serious things a little more this year. Where do puppies get all their energy? When you imagine things where does it come from and can you stop thinking if you wanted too? How come candy tastes better than green beans?

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once wrote that it’s good for the young and old to be together. The child then is able to acknowledge the elder in herself and the elder is able to acknowledge the child in himself and a new agreement is formed between generations. I like that.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

When I was eight, my family watched WWOR news every 10pm as it has the most interesting weatherman who can yell "HELLLOOO" and make us laugh.. it was joyful to watch news then.

from Brooklyn viewer

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Smith!

You forgot to mention all the birthday greetings you would receive on your blog!

What is Ann getting you for your birthday? I hope it's candy and not green beans.

Here's also hoping this upcoming year is your best ever.

Love to you and yours,

ps. Sorry I missed that weatherman, but I know an anchor that does a mean hohoho. Close second, perhaps.

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