The other night, in between our daughter’s excited screeches, my girlfriend turned to me and said, “I wish I could feel that level of excitement again.” The excited screeches were in response to Penguins from Madagascar (which was much better than I expected, by the way). Our daughter is now 19 months old and loves watching TV. I’m not sure she knows what’s going on, but that fact does little to diminish her love of it.
Before I had a child of my own, I swore that I wouldn’t let my yet-to-exist-child watch a lot of television…we now watch about 15-30 minutes of television each night with our daughter shortly before she goes to sleep. This is but one thing that I swore I wouldn’t let any child of mine do. In fairness, the TV is never on during the daytime and it’s never more than 30 minutes a day. One of the main reasons I have softened on my previous anti-TV stance (beside her overall cuteness and my inability to say no to her) is her excitement each night when the TV comes on. It’s a level of excitement that I, as a 37 year-old, will probably never experience again in my life. Her birth was as good as it gets, but the hallways of the hospital did not echo with my shouts of exultant joy on the night she was born. Perhaps if I was hanging out with Eddie Vedder my inner-me would feel this way, but I could never express it outwardly like she does. She has an ear-to-ear smile on her face the whole time. Laughs when we laugh. Acts surprised when we gasp. She just loves it so much, who am I to deny her of this joy?
Earlier today, while browsing some music blogs, my girlfriend’s observation about our daughter’s level of excitement popped into my head. While there is plenty of new music that I enjoy, that level of excitement just isn’t there anymore. If I listen to 10 songs, I might really enjoy about 1 or 2 of them. 10 or 15 years ago, that percentage would have been much higher. I could tell myself that it has to do with the music itself. You know, music was better back then, but isn’t that exactly what older people start telling themselves?