SESAME STREET LIVE!
(HOW MUCH IS ENOUGH?)
When my first son Adam was born, my major concern was if I was doing enough for him. As his first months of life rolled along, my list of questions lengthened. "Am I spending enough time with him? Am I feeding him enough? Is he happy enough?" As he grew, the questions continued, "am I reading enough to him? Am I teaching him enough?" The questioning voice within never silenced.
The year was 1982, Adam was two, and Sesame Street was the hottest show going! The characters faces were plastered everywhere. They were on cereal and cookie boxes. They appeared on clothes, bedding, wallpaper, and dishes. Sesame Street was on every street in America!
News that a "Live" Sesame Street show would be coming to town quickly spread. The only tickets available were for a Saturday morning in October. October was the height of my busy season, I just could not see myself taking off for this event. I purchased two tickets for the show, one for my wife and the other for my son. My wife was pregnant at the time and was having a very difficult pregnancy. As the day of the show approached, it became apparent that I would be taking my son to the show. With a certain sense of guilt I called in my absense, and resolved that I would make this day as best as possible. I can still recall the excitement in the voice of my two year old son as I strapped him in the car seat. The entire ride to the theater he chirpped, "Bert!, Ernie!, Cookie Monster! Big Bird! The Count!". He advised me that he knew these "people" very well!
We made it to our seats. He was so lost sitting in the auditorium seat. I lifted him up and perched him on my knee, which gave him a great view of the stage, and it gave me, a great view of him! Oh how I enjoyed watching the show through him! His eyes so wide, his joyous smile, his innocent laughter! His tiny nose fixed in the direction of the stage!
Ninety minutes into the show, all the characters came out on the stage. He had no idea that this was the grand finale. The curtain came down, and the stage was now a scene of silence. No more song, no more laughter, just silence. My son called out for his friends, "Bert!......Ernie!.....Cookie Monster......come back!" As I got up from my seat, he clung on to me, trembling he asked, "where is the Count?. A soft stream of tears began rolling down his precious cheeks. My heart ached, for there was nothing in my power that could make those characters appear on the stage again. I could feel the footsteps of panic walking through my heart. "They're at home" I blurted out. "All of your friends are waiting for you at home" I told him. He quickly quieted down, he believed me.."O.K. lets go home" he chimed.
When we got to the house, I ushered him to his room and told him that he would have to wait for the characters to get ready. I ran into the garage and fashioned a large box into a stage. I removed all his Sesame Street Puppets and toys from his toy chest, and I loaded the turntable with Sesame Street records. I called for my son to come into the family room, where I put on my own Sesame Street production just for him! It was worth it, just to see him smile and laugh once again!
And so it was on that day that I learned one of lifes most valuable lessons, and I was able to stop asking myself that question "am I doing enough?"...because I learned a parents love will have them go to any extreme for their child...when it comes to love...there is no such thing as "enough".
HAPPY FATHERS DAY!