To Kevin and Winnie
I know for myself, I'm proud to say I grew up apart of the TV generation. Meaning, at least for me, that my childhood and adolescence wasn't necessarily founded upon network and cable media, but that a good part of those years were spent gathering information from the television. It was such an informative era. A time when you could learn so much in observation while engaging the visual sense in order to stimulate the mind.
I remember TGIF and the good ole shows from my past the best. There were certain shows that struck a chord. Of course in the same path there are certain songs or movies or stories that do the same, but in particular there was one show that I'll never be able to detach myself from. You all have seen a few episodes and can remember the characters and the ideas they represented. I'm talking about The Wonder Years. God, what would my life be like without the dynamics of those characters and their lives weaved through America.
From the title itself, the theme and motifs of the show were different. It surrendered completely to the idea of adolescent naivete; that time in life where a child's mind resorts to idioms of self-fulfillment, "I know it all," but in the next instance the world takes your understanding by storm. It perfectly displayed how ever-growing the world is and yet how that growth can inspire awe and wonder.
And as the show came to an end it displayed again so poignantly the death of that time in a child's life. A time in a life, or in an American life, when the wonder ends, when something changes and it no longer becomes just a time of wonder but a time of complete change. When you no longer can resolve the world in terms that appease the mind and heart, but the constant bickering of ideas and morals create more frustration than wonder.
I'll never forget the first episode where Kevin and Winnie fall for one another but they both encounter unabashed tragedy of a wrongful death. I remember the episode where Kevin realizes that summer love is just that and he's just a kid surrendered to the big world around him. Or remember when Kevin learns that his best friend can and is completely able to grow up and change outside of their own relationship. God, that time that Kevin walks out of the Hardware Store, his first job, in an act of young rebellion against his dad and against the world. Kevin watches Wayne walk away from his dad because he just doesn't measure up. Or the time that Kevin finds Wayne trying to console a man who has seen the worst and done the worst all in the name of war. When his best friend is no longer is best friend, and that that's ok. Or how Kevin realized that the importance of family could trump any pain...
I could go on forever. I can so easily recall my wonder years. True they may be a bit fantasized through the filter of my imagination, but God knows they were so well lived. But now they're gone and I, we, have to keep on living.