I have recently been rewatching Punky Brewster with my 5 year old son. He likes the show a lot, especially the first two seasons where Punky is younger and closer to his age. Margaux is his favorite (there is no accounting for taste).
The show often gives him grandiose ideas that I then have to deal with:
He sees Punky build a treehouse in her backyard, then he wants one. I have to point out that the only tree in our backyard is ending its life and loses another limb with every ensuing storm.
Punky sets up a restaurant in her living room. Next thing I know, the chairs from my kitchen table are moved into the dining room around his play table—never mind that the chairs tower over the table.
Punky has little puppy Brandon trailing her every move. Then he wants a puppy. There is no reasoning with him, although I point out that we already have a dog, with vaguely similar features, who has the advantage of already being trained and broken in.
I hope in all this he is soaking up some of the good lessons the show has to teach as well. If you are familiar with the show at all (which you SHOULD be!), you will know that Punky often shouts “Punky Power!” And it is a great catchphrase. It was very handy to throw onto Punky merchandise in the 1980s. But I was pleased, in a Season 3 episode titled “Tons of Fun”, to be given a succinct definition of what Punky Power is actually made up of. Which just reinforces my thoughts that no matter who you are or how old you are, you probably could use a little Punky Power in your life as well…
- Believing in yourself.
- Never giving up.
- Faith that things are gonna turn out OK.
- You can do anything you want if you really try.
I know, I know. I am supposed to be an adult now, and not believe in such gibberish. Some people try their hardest and just never make it. But I look at it as I have lived my life in reverse. When I was a child, I acted more like a tiny adult. I knew my mom struggled being a single parent. I knew we had money issues. I grew up to get a responsible job to pay my own way in life.
And I was miserable.
So, in order to not slit my wrists every morning, I need to believe now in childish things, such as hopes and dreams and that maybe life will get better.
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