Friday, March 16, 2012

2012 Slice-of-Life Story Challenge | 16

I can remember each Thursday, like it was yesterday...being all giddy for that evening's TV.  And, by TV I mean one show in particular, the show.  It offered romance, interesting relational struggles, a handful of far-fetched medical situations...but most of all, it offered me another group of friends far more exciting than their real-life counterparts of my twenties.

At ten o'clock, the tinny-modern-medical-machine-sounding theme song began.  I loved the vivid image contrasts it presented --- red satin pumps following scrub-covered sneakers, an eyelash curler amidst the surgical tools, an IV drip come freshly-poured martini.  I sang the lyrics...they had danced through my mind the entire day I was part of it all too.  I just couldn't wait: would Derek and Meredith actually figure out their relationship this week?  The short signature piece by Psapp concluded and the episode's title (always named after an actual song, which I totally respect) centered itself on the screen.  Then, we'd launch into the world of Seattle Grace Hospital.

"Grey's Anatomy."  There was a time in my mid-twenties when I just couldn't get enough.  I downloaded the songs, I watched episodes more than once, I purchased entire seasons on DVD, I solved tricky relational difficulties in conversation with my friends who were also fellow watchers. 

Tonight, I saw this type of show devotion manifested in the life of a two-year old.

"They're two, they're four, they're six, they're eight...shunting trucks and hauling freight.  Red, and green, and brown, and blue, they're the really useful crew..."

I'm pretty sure after "They're" and before "two," my tot was up wildly dancing around.  In the living room, past the kitchen, through the bathroom and bedroom, and back out to the TV --- he danced the entire circuit.  He sang with emphasis, anticipation, and glee. 

6:30 each evening is a special time...and prior to it, he anticipates watching "Thomas and Friends" on Sprout.  It offers him behavioral lessons, tips on work ethic, quirky expressions (Well, bust my buffers!), and a preponderance of nitty-gritty details about trains.  It provides him a chance to see how friendships work. Thomas, Victor, Rosie, Percy, Toby, et al...these are 'real people' in my son's life.  He knows each engine's character traits and uses them to explain each episode's plot.  He considers the island of Sodor to be a magical destination where anything is possible.  He blends his reality with theirs by inserting characters into our everyday happenings (e.g. searching for Thomas whenever we drive over railroad tracks, saying 'hello' to Harold whenever we notice a helicopter flying above).  And, he's a devoted follower --- we have books, train sets, additional engines, t-shirts, and a fuzzy blanket. 

So, while "Grey's Anatomy" and "Thomas and Friends" are worlds apart in content, what each of us expects from an episode of our favorite show is remarkably similar.  There's a buzz of excitement, complete joy at the prospect of learning new information, rapt attention, and reflective analysis.

I promise you this though --- in all my years of the "Grey's..." fetish, never once did I dance around my house when the weekly episodes began. 

Write on,


  1. I have this picture of your little guy celebrating his favorite show with a little dance. While I don't' dance either, I must admit I am still a loyal follower of Grey's Anatomy. My almost 24 year old daughter comes over for our Thursday night tradition! Loved the parallels you make with your words. ~Theresa

  2. I am a die hard television fan as well, though I have to admit I have danced around the house in celebration of favorite shows. Namely, So You Think You Can Dance, but come on, the show begs for dancing!

    You write about your son with such poignancy.

  3. As a Grey's fan and the mother of a son who had a three year Thomas phase, I can totally relate to this post! Awesome!

  4. Interesting comparison of our perceptions of television. We've now moved past Thomas with our youngest son, although he will still pull out the train sets from time to time. My wife and I found the videos a little strange, with no moving mouths. But our boys never cared.
    PS -- I have to admit -- never saw Grey's Anatomy. Not once.


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