Tuesday, June 22, 2010

They Call Me Barney

I really like my little boy. Don't get me wrong. I also love him. I carried him for nine months and gave birth to him. Of course, I love him. But I just dig this kid. And do you know why? I could name a laundry list of reasons but I'll just give you one tonight. I dig how he loves watching The Andy Griffith Show. To me, that's just cool. I mean, how many five year olds can quote from episodes of a television series that originally aired fifty years ago?

"That was your husband's name? Why, that's my name. They call me Barney, but that's just a nickname for Bernard"
"In other words, ladies, you got gassed"
"It's me. It's me. It's Ernest T."
"You ain't seen the last of Ernest T. Bass"

His appreciation of this classic began at the ripe old age of two the week we moved into our house in late August 2007. As it happened, we moved in before the satellite had been reconnected. So for the first two weeks the only entertainment we could get on the tube was via a DVD player. We had on hand a couple discs of the show and that is how we spent those first evenings - watching episodes like Aunt Bee's Medicine Man, The Loaded Goat, and Barney's First Car.

Then we noticed that, like some teenager in the years before cell phones, he would beat a path to the phone whenever it rang, making sure he was the one to answer it. And his greeting was always the same..."Sheriff's office". He was between 2 and 3 at the time. Like Little House did for Ren, the show brings out the best of his creative side.

Best of all, the series lends itself to some pretty good teachable moments and the phrase "What Would Opie Do?" is often heard in our home.

It may seem hokie to some but in an age where many children, even some as young as John-Heath, spend much of their time plugged in to mindless, even violent, video games and cartoons I welcome each and every time I hear that familiar whistled tune start to play.

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