Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Joy of Peanuts

When I was a boy, my sister and I had a collection of paperback Peanuts comic books. Of course, I loved A Charlie Brown Christmas and all the other Peanuts television specials. But back then, we didn’t have video on demand, dvds, or even video tapes. So, we could only watch each show once a year when they aired on network television.

The rest of the time, I got my Peanuts fix from reading the comics.

I really related to Charlie Brown. And the messages in the written form were perhaps even more poignant, and humorous, than the TV shows. I remember reading those comics over and over.

My son has been a huge fan of the Peanuts videos for many years now. I often wondered why he was so attracted to them from such a young age when they did not have as much of the outrageously silly humor that usually draws the attention of young kids.

Even now, on our weekly trips to the public library, Kai always picks out a Peanuts video to bring home, even though he has seen each one many times now.

A few years ago, my sister gave me a hardcover book that was a comprehensive collection of the best Peanuts strips. It brought back fond memories of reading those strips when I was a child.

A couple years ago, I tried reading him some of those comics to Kai. But he had only mild interest in it, and I decided to put it aside until a later date.

This week, he picked up the book on his own, and began reading it all by himself.

Every day, he sat at our kitchen table and read pages of the old comics. Sometimes he laughed, and I could tell he was enjoying them. Other times he read quietly, as I often did. We often had a hard time pulling him away from the book to do other things.

Kai often takes interest in things that are very different from the things I am interested in, and that is okay. But it is also nice to see him enjoying the things I enjoyed as a boy. Regardless, it is great to see him picking up something and reading on his own.

Thanks, Charlie Brown.


  1. I remember running back inside to catch the seasonal specials. I used to love all of them...year after year.

    I think the key to Peanuts, and the like, was the subtle humor. It often alluded to events in every day life and the humor to be found in them.

    Charlie Brown is introvert in nature. I think Kai feels empathy for him as he sees the good nature in Charlie Brown and how he continually must deal with frustration yet continually tries despite his fears. In the end, Charlie Brown finds a successful resolution to his problems...without resorting to dishonorable means. Charlie Brown has a good heart...and so...he attracts children with good hearts.

    1. How you describe Charlie Brown... that is definitely the reason why I relate to him so well. But I wasn't sure my son picked up on all that, particularly when he was younger. With Kai, it is sometimes difficult to tell what he comprehends. If you ask him questions about it, he has a hard time giving an articulate answer, though that may be more to his speaking skills than his comprehension abilities. You may be right that Kai can see Charlie Brown's good nature and relates to him just as I did. And I do think Kai's heart is good. :)

  2. awwww I love it
    He is such a cutie - love that picture
    Its truly such a delight to see a little bit of us in them

    1. Thanks, K. I loved that he is so engaged in something other than his iPad or computer. :)

  3. Thought about you today, Yuji! I hope it was a calm, restful day for you at home and a happy smooth day for Kai at school!

    1. Thanks, Betsy. According to his teacher's email, Kai had a "great" first day, so we are very happy. I've been busy this week, but hope to write about that and other things before too long.


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