On a good day, I'm a fan of just about everything Sesame Street does. But I'm a little confused at all the people crowing about Sonia Sotomayor appearing on the kids' show this week to talk about careers. The Supreme Court justice let flighty fairy Abby Cadabby know that princess is not a career.
Got that y'all? There's no going to college to get your bachelor's in royalty and getting paid to wear a tiara and wave all day. And it's about bloody time your 5-year-old get her head out of the darn clouds and face the harsh reality. Unemployment! FICA! Health care! These are the things kids need to know about!
Oh ... wait.
I get what Sesame Street was trying to do. They were trying to inject a little life lesson into their programming. That's what Big Bird and his crew do (hear that Mr. Romney?).
But there are life lessons kids need to hear. And then there's pissing in a kid's Corn Flakes just because you can. What ever happened to letting kids indulge in flights of fancy? In letting kids be ... kids?
Yes, some children in America are planning to be princesses when they grow up, and we have some serious anti-princess sentiment going around at the moment.
But if they're really so concerned about impossible dreams, the folks at Sesame Street should be aware that there are thousands of little ones out there who believe themselves to be on a path to being a superhero when they grow up too. And I don't mean a cop or a fireman. I mean giving Mark Ruffalo and Robert Downey Jr. a run for their money. Shiny cape, big boots, the whole nine.
At least, that's their plan for the moment. Tomorrow it will likely change. My daughter is 7 years old, and in the past several years, her intended career path has changed several times over. At one point she wanted to be a "classroom teacher" (a term she picked up from Blue's Clues). Now she wants to be a model. Her 8-year-old buddy is convinced that he will be a rock star; he even told me that Aunt Jeanne will get front row tickets to every show. Any day now she'll be making plans for a career on the stage. Or as a LEGO builder. Or ...
The beauty of her ever-changing mind is that she's got plenty of time to change it yet again and again and again. Who knows what the future holds for her? I commented to someone just a week ago that I never told my high school guidance counselor I wanted to be a professional blogger when I grew up. The job didn't even exist!
Such it is for our kids. They will grow out of the princess and superhero stage and then, who knows? Who knows what amazing careers await them?
We live in a world where kids have enough of their dreams dashed all too early. One day they will have to face up to issues like unemployment and health care, and the fantasies will all be gone. But not yet ...
Is it really so bad that some little ones go to sleep at night dreaming of life in a castle?
Check out the Sesame Street video with Justice Sotomayor (below). Do you think kids really need this lesson?
Image via Sesame Street/YouTube