Growing up with Kevin Arnold

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Kevin and Winnie

Growing up is never easy. You hold on to things that were. You wonder what’s to come. But that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days. New days. Days to come. The thing is, we didn’t have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves… for growing up.

I grew up with Kevin Arnold, Winnie Cooper and Paul Pfeiffer. Right from the time he was a kid to the time he turned 18; I think I was always a saw a bit of Kevin in me. For anyone who has seen the poignant series based on Kevin and how he grew up in a suburban town with hopes and aspirations like anyone of us.

Over the course of the average lifetime
you meet a lot of people. Some of them
stick with you through thick and thin.
Some weave their way through your life
and disappear forever. But once in a
while someone comes along who earns a
permanent place in your heart

I think he was referring to his professor in this quote. Many episodes take you on a roller coaster journey into the lives of unseeingly unimportant people who change your life completely. In one episode, Kevin had to wrestle with a state champion. He finally loses but gave it one of the stiffest fights of his life, and the match went on for hours. I think I would rate it my favorite episode. It taught me to give my best shot in whatever I did. Many things my folks used to tell me, I would learn from Kevin. This was one of them.

All our young lives we search for someone to love. Someone who makes us complete. We choose partners and change partners. We dance to a song of heartbreak and hope… all the while wondering if somewhere, somehow, there’s someone perfect… who might be searching for us.

Winnie was always the love I hoped to find. While she was ostensibly very mature she was probably a kid at heart throughout. I wouldn’t call her the best girl one would ever find, but I think everyone one of us wants a girl next door anyway. Kevin’s love – hate tragedy with Winnie reminded me a lot about my own life. I also learnt a lot; as in what not to do.

Once upon a time there was a girl I knew, who lived across the street. Brown hair, brown eyes. When she smiled, I smiled. When she cried, I cried. Every single thing that ever happened to me that mattered, in some way had to do with her. That day Winnie and I promised each other that no matter what, that we’d always be together. It was a promise full of passion and truth and wisdom. It was the kind of promise that can only come from the hearts of the very young.

I still hope to meet someone like that.

Wayne was not really a bad brother. He was just a bit screwed up. I am glad my brother also watched this show and was everything Wayne wasn’t. One episode where Wayne took the entire blame for trashing the house after a party in many ways showed shades of my own brother. It was something he would have always done to protect his little brother.

The next day Winnie and I came home. Back to where we’d started. It was the 4th of July in that little suburban town. Somehow though, things were different. Our past was here, but our future was somewhere else. And we both knew, sooner or later, we had to go. It was the last July I ever spent in that town. The next year, after graduation, I was on my way.

There were many cities I had lived. Everyplace teaches you something new, and you make new friends. But one could never be there all the time; and it was always time sooner or later we had to move. When I left college for higher education I felt the same way; when I said bye to my girl. Till that moment, I never thought I would miss someone.

There’s more to life than being cool, athletic, and popular.

Kevin and Paul

I was never the most popular guy in school or at work. I always was the kid who did what he wanted to do. People just happened; and those who did really did mean a lot to me. People liked me for who I was, and it worked for me.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the last episode. It just reminds me of how things can change so much. But I think sooner or later we do tend to accept that change and move on.

Karen’s son was born in that September. I got to say, I think he looks like me. Poor kid. Mom, she did well: business woman, board chairman, grandmother…cooker of mashed potatoes. Wayne stayed on in furniture. Wood seemed to suit him. In fact he took over the factory two years later, when dad past away. Winnie left the next summer to study art history in Paris. Still we never forgot our promise. We wrote to each other once a week for the next eight years. I was there to meet her, when she came home, with my wife and my first son, eight months old. – The last episode.

8 Responses to “Growing up with Kevin Arnold”

  1. RichaNo Gravatar says:

    Really.. I did grow up with Kevin and Winnie Cooper, as well, but it was only seeing the serial once again that made me look back and and truly understand what the reminisces of the older Kevin were all about!

  2. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    well…whats important is there is a bit of kevin or winnie in all of us! and we take them where ever we go!
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  3. nice post Vinni……reminded me of the good old days.
    I still watch some episodes of this serial esp the final one and the one abt his Maths prof.

    This post was indeed a good read !

  4. VinniNo Gravatar says:

    thanks gaurav! good to see you back!
    i think the episode with the maths prof was one of the best !
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  5. TwinkieNo Gravatar says:

    I think it’s awesome that while we grew up with Kevin and Winnie, my teenagers grew up with his younger brother, Corey and Tepenga!

  6. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    :) i have not seen that one! maybe sometime soon. long live torrents!
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  7. TwinkieNo Gravatar says:

    It was called “Boy Meets Girl” I believe?

  8. vinniNo Gravatar says:

    yep, so it was called!
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