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December 17, 2014

I Missed Charlie Brown!

Kelvin headshot Oct2013 HDRAs I write this post, I am an hour removed from receiving a disturbing text message from my mom. The message was a simple four-word sentence. Actually, I am not sure it was a “sentence” in the technical sense; it didn’t have a period and its structure wasn’t very sound. It read:

“Charlie Brown is on” (no period)

Ordinarily this would be good news, seeing that my mom has instilled in me a love for watching this holiday classic. From the time I was 2 years old, she plopped me in front of our large, cabinet-styled, floor-model television set, while feeding me plain M&Ms from a decorative glass bowl. When I saw Charlie Brown and Linus walking across the screen, I knew the holidays had arrived.

So, since my kids are small, I try really hard to keep this tradition going, minus the cabinet-styled, floor-model TV. But this year, while “A Charlie Brown Christmas” was on, I was watching The Flash with my family — a show we all love. I didn’t notice my mother’s text until Charlie Brown was over.

Instantly, I felt like I had let everyone down. Our Christmas memories are based upon this one show. I should have known it was coming on. How could I have missed it? What was I thinking? Why didn’t I hear my mom’s text?

I began to apologize profusely to my wife and kids. My wife was so interested in my apology that she just walked away. My kids looked at me with blank expressions and then asked, “What’s on Netflix?”

Doesn’t anyone in this house care? We missed Charlie Brown! We’ll have to wait another full year to make Christmas memories now. Everyone realizes that, right?

That’s when it hit me. “Dude, you are freaking out over a cartoon.” More importantly, “No one in this house cares that you are freaking out over a cartoon.”

Of course, I knew it wasn’t so much the cartoon, but the idea of the cartoon — the idea that I needed to watch this with my kids to make their Christmas as special as mine used to be when I was their age. That’s what I was freaking out over.

But they didn’t care.

As a matter of fact, my son said something deeply profound as I was apologizing. He said, “Dad, the most important thing is that we had fun watching The Flash.”

Maybe my traditions don’t have to be their traditions. It appears that they are perfectly okay with making their own.

That’s a great lesson to remember. What’s important to me, isn’t necessarily important to them. Interesting….

Now I need to go set my DVR to record “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” — the original one of course.

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