American society is obsessed with television. We become addicted to shows where waiting for a new episode next week is pure torture, or binge watching a Netflix season to the point of sleep deprivation. There are few shows that I will watch repetitively, and if you put me in front of a show from my childhood I guarantee you I can sing the theme song and probably recite various scenes from every episode of Boy Meets World, Full House, and Growing Pains. I’m an 80s baby and a 90s kid, obsessed with my generation and never wanted to leave.
It was the family togetherness that wasn’t looked on upon as weird, but as what everyone wished they had with their real family. Not to mention that the theme songs were catchy as hell. The Growing Pains theme song has been running through my head for the last week as I have toiled and analyzed the lyrics to exhaustion. It’s my own fault as I had an epic seven season marathon for over two weeks where I literally watched nothing else. After I finished the seasons I bought the T.V. movies that I am sure my younger brother will rip on me forever, but I can’t help myself. It is the nostalgia of it all and my inner most feelings that I know these characters personally.
The siblings that will hold each other down just to hear the other beg to stop sitting on them. The brother and sister that can never stop bickering because what else are siblings for but to get on your nerves. What about the siblings that help you pull one over on your parents and when you get caught you blame it on each other. This describes my sibling’s relationship perfectly. No matter what though, I know they always have had my back when I really needed them.
If you don’t know the show here are the basics. It’s a middle-upper class family living in Long Island where the dad is a therapist, the mother a writer, and they have three kids Mike (The trouble maker), Carol (The Brain), and Ben (The Smartass). There is a forth kid (Chrissy), but she didn’t have much of a roll till the last season so I don’t really count her. I think this family related to my real family in every way. Not only were the sibling pretty much identical to the way my brothers and I acted, but the fact that one would do anything for the other is an act of selflessness you don’t see in most families today. It is a rarity that you will find a family as close as mine, but you are welcome to try.
In the theme song it says:
“As long as we got each other
We got the world spinnin’ right in our hands
Baby, you and me, we got to be, the luckiest dreamers who never quiet dreaming
As long as we keep on givin’
We can take anything that comes our way
Baby rain or shine, all the time
We got each other sharing the laughter and love”
The life lessons that each theme song in the 1980s and 1990s was about how family was always going to have your back. The situation was never to big or two small to have a hand to hold, a laugher to share, or the ability to have people that inspired and supported the dreams you had everyday. As you get older thoughts constantly cross your mind as you move farther from family and developing a life, a career, and a family of your own. It doesn’t need to be separate. Those people who were there for you in the beginning are going to be there for you in the end. My brother was in a car accident back in August and it makes you think about how precious life can be. How in an instant everything can change. You need to cherish the people who are important in your life everyday. You never know when a picture of someone will just be a memory.
So, this post is dedicated to my two brothers who are just like Mike and Ben on Growing Pains – my older brother who legit would get me in trouble when I didn’t do anything. Let’s not mention the tennis ball that broke the face on the antique clock on the mental. Or my younger one, who I use to want to throw food at across the table as he would hum throughout dinner. I’m glad I wasn’t an only child because without you two I wouldn’t have these memories. Sometimes the good times out way the annoying ones, like the memories of my younger brother Johnny and I singing Grease Lighting in the garage, or hanging out with my cool older brother Sal as we sang the song ‘I’m a Bitch’ at the top of our lungs with the windows rolled down. You guys made my childhood and my adulthood, and don’t worry because I always have access to embarrassing photos if needed.