Cast your mind back...way back...to 1988.
Are you there?
Are you back in the world of brightly colored shoelaces, folded-over jeans, and crimped hair? It was a simpler time, when Capitalism was unabashedly "the American Way", and Don Johnson ruled the Earth.
Lots of important things happened in 1988. I, for instance, turned 8. My wonderful husband turned 16 (though, and I state for this legal reasons, he was not my husband at that time, and we would not meet for another 13 years when it would be perfectly respectable, thank you very much). George Bush the First was elected, the Winter Olympics took place in Calgary, and Celine Dion won the Eurovision Song Content for Switzerland (because OF COURSE she did).
But the most important thing? More important than ANYTHING ELSE?
This movie came out:
Do you remember?! Do you remember the magic of that movie?! Of the dino kids trying to make it to the "Great Valley" after Little Foot's dying mother tells him he can get there by following the "bright circle" (sun) in the sky past the "burning mountains" (volcanoes)?!
Yeah, me neither.
(On a side note, I am pretty sure that using all the synonymous phrases was an attempt to keep the talking dinosaurs' speech as realistic as possible).
Now, I know all this because I just looked it up on Wikipedia. That is because I am a "good mother" who is trying to "keep up" with her son's "new obsession": dee-DORES! (dinosaurs)
The start to this obsession was 2-pronged. Firstly, the Virginia Living Museum had an exhibit on dinosaurs. The first time Eamon saw the exhibit, he played only with the lights and completely ignored the dinosaurs themselves, but subsequent visits made more of an impression.
Then, at some point, my parents, bless their hearts, bought Eamon a copy of The Land Before Time. It was either the movie or the animated series. (Not sure which, needless to say that they now possess any and all versions, I believe).
Like the museum exhibit, the first time he watched the movie (series?), it was not a hit. In fact, it scared him.
You see, those scrappy little dino kids? They keep getting into trouble. Rock slides, quick sand, scary "sharp tooths..." there are just so many dangers in animated Jurassic times. The first time he watched it, my parents had to turn it off, and reassure Eamon that "the kids" would be okay.
He's a little more mature about it all now that he's seen the videos a few times. When things get really scary, he just covers his ears.
"Why is he covering his ears?" I asked my parents today during one episode.
"Because it's scary," was the reply.
"Then why doesn't he cover his eyes?"
"Because then he can't see when the scary part is over."
Anyway, I am hereby declaring this to be Eamon's first Real Obsession. Lions didn't really count...because he's really more obsessed with one lion--his lion--in particular. Other lions...not so much. Then there was Sesame Street...but I don't really count that either because we're the ones who introduced him to it, and he was only obsessed because it was all that we let him watch for awhile.
But dinosaurs--dee-DORES--he came to on his own. He owns this obsession.
And it's not just The Land Before Time, either. It's ANYTHING dinosaur related. If he sees a dinosaur in the store, his cries of "Dee-DORE! Dee-DORE!" ring loud and clear. He likes dinosaur action figures, stuffed animals, and books.
How do we feel about this obsession? Well, The Land Before Time is kinda hokey, but I love that he's interested in something so...well, scientific. Like: you can actually LEARN something with this obsession. There are worse things, right?
And don't tell Eamon, but I'm already planning a Dino-cake for his birthday. He's gonna flip.
Or possibly just RAWR really loudly.