This post is brought to you by the number 22 — as in my 22nd CNN op-ed! I’m so honored that I got to write this in celebration of Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary!! I was obsessed with the show as a child and, well, I’m still obsessed, especially with Big Bird, who still don’t look a day over six!! What’s his secret?
This piece has been decades in the making — ever since I was a kid in the ‘80s glued to the TV watching Sesame Street! I’m so honored that I got to write this in celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary!! I’ve been wanting to pitch this idea all year and I was literally counting down the months until November!! I mean, what other children’s show has been on consistently for FIVE DECADES and is still so culturally relevant? Sesame Street has never shied away from tackling the tough topics of the day, whether it’s racism, homelessness or the opioid crisis.
Plus, I think it’s so cool that people my age who grew up watching Sesame Street are now watching the show with their own kids. I loved my writer friend Erin Khar’s quotes and am so grateful that she let me interview her! Follow her on Twitter for a huge dose of inspiration!
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, in which I quote my favorite song in the opening paragraph (and no, it’s not the show’s theme song)…
As a child of the 1980s, I grew up watching — and loving — that group of furry friends. Because of my disability, the show was often my window to many aspects of the world — the perfect way for me to explore and grow beyond the confines of my wheelchair. In fact, I remember my parents buying our first color TV just so I could watch the show in color.
The show’s classic theme song asks this question: “Can you tell me how to get? How to get to Sesame Street?” But perhaps it’s so much more than just a physical place. Sesame Street is love. Sesame Street is treating people with kindness. Sesame Street is friends and family — both the furry and human variety. Sesame Street is creating memories. And, like Big Bird sang, Sesame Street is home. So how exactly do you get there? Maybe all you really need to do is look around. Maybe you’re already there.
Plus, I couldn’t let Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary go by without snapping a selfie with the Bert to my Ernie!! We even ended the day by watching some classic clips of our favorite duo!! Happy birthday, Sesame Street! Here’s to many more years of love, laughter and learning with our furry friends, especially Big Bird…
You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so I see your tweet and we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo