This morning I was mesmerized - by Sesame Street. Listen, friends, PBS is quality programming; it's far better than letting your kids watch the rot on other networks where most of the "kids" shows are vulgar, semi-violent, too mature and bizarre.
Anyway, give me a moment to climb off this beloved soapbox...ah, there I am. Soooo, I was talking Big Bird.
This morning on Sesame Street, Big Bird's friends, Gordon, Gabby, Elmo, Maria, Telly, etc., were helping Big Bird rebuild his nest after a hurricane, and I was touched by the gentle and expert way in which this scary topic was being addressed. I got misty-eyed, because I was sure that this show, with its abundance of love, friendship and determination surrounding the fear and uncertainty, could really help children cope with the sometimes humongous curve balls that life can throw at you.
Hey, Big Bird helped me recebtly when I was feeling scared, and I'm an adult.
When I woke up suddenly my first night in the hospital in September, I saw the motorcycle that t-boned our van speeding at me again. It replayed in the darkness with sound effects provided by some loud banging in the Surgical Care corridor. I had to silence the ghost, so I turned on the TV. As I flipped the channels through cheesy and violent programming at 2 am, I finally landed on Sesame Street. I sighed and settled in like a child with an old lovey. I felt safe again.
I saw some commercials a few years ago where adults talked about how Sesame Street changed their lives as children, took them out of their dismal circumstances to a happier place, helped them learn English when their family first immigrated to the US, or even set them on the right path to realize their dream job. I believe them.
I feel guilty that my kids watch too much TV at times, especially lately as I've recuperated, but I do not feel guilty that they watch PBS. Mr. Rogers, Big Bird, Ruff Ruffman, these are giants - lovable, gentle, teaching giants - in the world of technology. I hope we can always keep our kids grounded in their educational and compassionate programming.