Charlie was listening to this song with his granddad as I was getting ready to leave for work yesterday. I had a momentary wash of a visceral sadness that I could feel in my stomach, then it passed. I didn’t recognize the song or know why I felt this way. Charlie was happily dancing with just his arms, since he hasn’t yet figured out that there’s more to choreography than jazz hands. Saying goodbye in the morning can always be sad if I let it, but apart from my first week back from maternity leave, I haven’t really let myself go there.
At work, I was looking at the New York Public Library’s website. They have a new Sesame Street exhibition, called “Somebody Come and Play,” and the promo image feature an exuberant Burt and Ernie (who were my favorite when I was little). I started remembering the song and watching Sesame Street from the living room of the Garden Grove rambler we lived in when I was little. The house is so big and I can feel the carpet beneath my toes, and it’s possible that I’m currently crying at my desk for reasons I can’t fully articulate.
Sometimes I don’t feel qualified to be the grown-up. But here I am.