About a month ago, I introduced Sesame Street videos to my son so I wouldn’t feel so guilty having him watch TV while I clean up in the kitchen or make our meals (he’s not yet two, so supposedly no TV for him, but sometimes I need help from Ernie and Bert to baby sit). The collection I got shows a mix of new and old songs and animation that I haven’t seen since I was 6 or 7.
The first time I saw them again, some 20+ years later, I was instantly flooded with memories of running up the stairs to my parents’ bedroom to sing and dance along with the colorful characters of the street I’ve fantasized living in.
So when I chanced on Sandra O’s speech about her own Sesame Street time-traveling-moment at this year’s Daytime Emmy Awards, I can totally relate. And when I saw the tribute they prepared for Sesame Street (they were given the Lifetime Achievement Award on their 40th anniversary) that showed clips from way back in 1969, I couldn’t help but tear up.
Nostalgia hit me hard as I remembered how it felt to be in, as Sandra O put it, the warmth and safety of my own childhood. Right at that time, I felt more convinced than ever to have my own baby grow up “in” Sesame Street.
I want my son to learn his letters from Big Bird, count numbers with The Count, and sing and dance with the people in the neighborhood, the people that you meet each day.
Congratulations to Sesame Street and its founders. I pray for 40 more birthdays on the air, for more kids to get to know the delightful place that a lot of us have grown up with.
And I hope that someday, my kids will have the same chance of going back to that comforting place in their childhood as they enjoy their turn to tell their own children how to get to Sesame Street.