Recently, I started watching “Crikey, It’s the Irwins” on Animal Planet and I have mixed feelings about it.

They intersperse new footage of Terri, Robert and Bindi doing their thing at Australia Zoo with relevant old footage of Steve Irwin doing his thing years ago.

It’s bittersweet, that’s for sure.

Every time I hear Steve’s voice and see him on tv – his larger than life personality, his charming Australian accent, his overflowing enthusiasm for all things wildlife – I’m reminded of how much the world needs him in it, and how very much I miss him.

It may sound strange, coming from a middle-aged administrator living in California, some 7,000+ miles from Australia Zoo.

I live in a completely different world than Steve Irwin.

But 20 years ago when my kids were newborns, there were few choices of what to watch on tv at 2 am, 3 am, or 4 am in the morning as far as quality entertainment goes.

Back then, Animal Planet ran episodes of The Crocodile Hunter late into the night and I found myself up at night with my newborns, watching the adventures of Steve Irwin.

And let me tell you, he was as good as it gets.

This was back before the days of on demand TV when you could only watch what was on the tv or what you’d recorded to video.

Yes, video.

I closely associate Steve Irwin with the infancies of my kids and to hear his voice or see him on tv transports me back to those days when I was a young exhausted mother, struggling to get my kids to sleep so that I could go back to sleep myself.

Steve was so good at entertaining me, I often waited for the episode to complete, even after my kids were asleep, so that I could see the conclusion of the episode.

That’s how good he was.

I’m thrilled of course to see Terri still doing her thing for wildlife conservation and it warms my heart to see Steve and Terri’s two kids, Bindi and Robert joining forces with their mother.

They have the same light that their father had.

So of course it’s nice to see Steve living on in the faces and the enthusiasm and passion his children have for wildlife.

But I still miss Steve.