A Flash Essay I wrote a few years ago.
I remember watching my son fall over giggling when the rabbit puppet stole the Blue Wiggle’s bananas. With simple plots, simple music and lots of action, The Wiggles were perfect for my three-year-old son. The fact that they were all slightly attractive men who encouraged a three-year-old to shake, wiggle and be silly enough to get all of his energy out in time for his nap made me welcome them into my home with open arms.
As I’ve watched my son transition to the more complex plots and music of Little Einsteins and Star Wars, I can’t help but notice a few things. Not only does he like the classical music, which I am very happy about, but he is also more able to accept more complex ideas. With greater complexity comes a greater chance of corruption. As he begins to understand more complex ideas, I can see the teenager he will become in a few short years and I pray for the adult I hope he will be.
We do this to our kids. Slowly but surely we introduce them to the world around them, a world that will not always be kind but seems oddly forgiving while they’re young. We bring them into a world of disappointment and pain and hope we’ve given them the things they need to survive it without too many bruises. We protect their wild optimism for as long as we can and hope, when the first cracks start to appear in the shield we’ve created, that the first blows won’t be too deep.
I’m glad my son likes more sophisticated music and shows. While they don’t include the adult stimulation I crave, they do introduce my son to many things he would be resistant to learning from me. I do miss The Wiggles, though. Especially the blue one.