Sometimes I feel my life is an episode of “The Wonder Years.” Like Kevin Arnold, the teenager whose life is the center of the show, I can hear myself narrating my thoughts. It seems everyone can hear what I’m thinking but really only I can.
Kevin goes through the ordinary ups and downs of life in the coming-of-age series. He falls in love with his childhood crush. He sometimes hates his best friend. He tries to reason with his parents. His older brother is his biggest nemesis.
We can all relate, but where I see myself in Kevin, is realizing the big, important things in life, in the small, seemingly ordinary things of life.
Kevin grew up in the late 1960s when almost every social norm of American life was being tested. From civil rights to the Vietnam War, rock and roll music, to women’s liberation, what a time it was to grow up. While Kevin was impacted by these historic events, it was the happenings of his traditional, small town life that changed him from youth to young man.
I think this is what most of us experience. We’d like to think that the historic events of our past changed us in monumental ways, but in reality, it’s hard to know that you are living through history, when history is something you reflect on from a distance.
As we get older, we reunite with best friends from our youth. We share stories of childhood pranks and times when we challenged our parents. We remember what seemed like unforgivable differences between us, that turned out to be laughable and silly moments. Usually, what we think of most are the life lessons we learned through the bumps in the road, and the times that caused us to step up to find something in ourselves we didn’t know existed.
Kevin Arnold had many of those moments. Maybe that’s why I see myself in him. We all had those moments. Like the time you figured out your best friend was your best friend not because he was cool or popular, but because he was different and unlike anyone else.
There was also the time you realized that family meant more than anything in the world. That’s a hard…