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What Children’s Television Has to Teach Us

on April 19th, 2012 by Shannon

So I couldn’t sleep last night.

I was up contemplating my efficacy as a parent, my questionable pursuit of a writing career, my own mortality.

Oh, and I watched Phineas and Ferb.

I love that show. And maybe it was the fact that I was bleary-eyed and it was 4 a.m., but I had this epiphany.

Candace never gives up. She lives to bust her brothers, and no matter how many times she fails – like, every time – she just keeps trying.  My wailing and whining about a couple of rejections seems trivial compared to Candace’s failures. Yet, she pushes on.  I respect that.

Plus, there’s Doofenschmirtz. He keeps trying, too. Never mind that he keeps getting beaten – by a platypus. He never quits trying to inator whatever needs inatoring.

But what really struck me is Phineas and Ferb. They build these incredible inventions week after week, and invariably they get destroyed by the end of the episode. Hours and hours of work with nothing to show for it, but are they bitter? Never. They do it for the pleasure of the doing. They live in the moment of the creation.

It sounds a lot like writing, doesn’t it?

If Candace and Doof can push on in the face of impossible odds, how can I give up? If Phineas and Ferb can take so much joy in creating something so fleeting, how can I do any less?

What do you think? Who loves Phineas and Ferb? And who thinks I should get a pet platypus?

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