Bye-Bye Big Bird

I was never a Disney kid.  I liked the movies, but they weren’t my favorites, and to this day I have no desire to go to Disney World.  I liked Mickey and friends, but that’s pretty much where my love of the Mouse beings and ends.  For me, childhood was about the Muppets.  Yes, they are now a part of Disney, but that wasn’t always so, therefore I give them their own place in the world.

The Muppet Show is one of the first “grownup” shows I watched, not that I realized it was at the time.  I didn’t get a lot of jokes and my parents were always excited about the guests whereas I rarely knew who they were.  But I liked The Muppet Movie and I loved Muppets Take Manhattan.  And of course, more than this, I loved Sesame Street.

I still love Sesame Street.

In fact, this isn’t even the first time that I’ve written about how much I love Sesame Street.

When I was very small, I thought the puppets on my television were my friends.  I liked Grover and Bert and Ernie best, but none did I love like I loved Big Bird.  His happy yellow feathers would bring me such joy.  His playful curiosity would make me want to join him on adventures.  Everything he learned, I learned.  If I could have been a member of the Sesame Street crew, I would definitely have been that eight-foot-tall canary. 

So, naturally, it broke my heart yesterday when I learned that Caroll Spinney, the man behind Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, passed away.  You might as well have told me that the Bird himself died, that’s how sad I was.

Sesame Street was a huge part of my childhood.  And my adulthood, for that matter, as I continued to watch it with my kiddos and those kids that I took care of through the years.  How many of us learned our letters, numbers, and colors there?  How many learned about friendship, kindness, and being a good person?  How many continue to learn?

I think that if there were a Sesame Street world, I’d like to go there.  Hang on…ok quick google search tells me it’s time for a trip to Philly!

I’ve got Sesame on the mind today because of the death of the talented Mr. Spinney.  Other than that, I’m at a real loss, writing-wise.  Perhaps it’s because in the past three months I have written a book, composed a chapbook, and penned a children’s story.  When I write it out like that, it seems like I deserve a break, but I don’t want one.  I want new topics to flood my brain.  But I’m struggling…trying to get out a poem.  Trying to get out a blog post.  It’s all hard right now, so how am I supposed to come up with the next “big idea?”

These are thoughts for another day.  Today I am just going to be proud of myself for what I have accomplished.  It’s what Big Bird would have wanted.

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