I have a confession to make. For some time now I’ve had a slight crush on a happy go-lucky yellow cartoon sponge. He makes me smile on even the most disheartening of days. His contagious laugh and clever insights provide me with endless cheer and sweet chuckles. I simply adore him.
There it is, finally out in the open. Huge weight, lifted.
I am a huge fan of one Spongebob Squarepants. He, his starfish best friend Patrick, and pet snail (who he affectionately refers to as “Gar-Bear”) all offer me a welcomed escape at the end of a long and sometimes overwhelming day.
It would seem that no matter how many years separate me from my childhood, I still find acute satisfaction in watching cartoons. On a typical day, when I’m not in a mad rush to get out the door, I curl up on the couch with my dog and watch cartoons. (Milk and cereal are optional). My local cable station airs a gem of a channel – Teletoon Retro – which showcases many of the classic cartoons from my childhood. Reruns of the Smurfs, Scooby Doo, Inspector Gadget, Care Bears, and Classic Looney Tunes fill my TV screen on an almost daily basis. Sketchy animation and childhood abandonment are the best prescriptions according to the medicine of Erica.
When I was in college I used to start my day with episodes of Blue’s Clues and Zooboomafoo, both delightfully childish but surprisingly entertaining to a young adult. After a stressful day I would look to episodes of The Simpsons or Disney classics to help life seem a little less daunting. I vividly remember one particularly terrible day when I arrived home on the verge of tears. After fixing a much needed cup of hot chocolate I sat, feeling utterly defeated, in front of my television. At the click of a button Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet magically appeared on the screen. I instantly became enveloped into their conversations on the important things in life – mainly friendship. In that moment what I needed most was a reminder that the universe IS filled with love and caring. Thanks to a fuzzy, little, silly ole bear, I was given a benevolent message of peace and hope.
Every year I take my friend’s daughter to see an animated holiday film. This tradition started ten years ago, when at the age of 7, I took her to see the Christmas classic, Polar Express. For those who have seen the movie (and I naturally assume that would be everyone) you will no doubt remember the part where the golden ticket is flying through the forest. The wind carries it past snow packed mountain peaks, a pack of wolves, and the talons of graceful eagle. The entire sequence is done in virtual silence – no music, just the created background sounds of a forest – with an occasional whistle from the train mixed in. It was during this scene that the seven year old sitting next to me took my hand in hers. There was such an innocence about it, it almost made me cry. To this day the Polar Express has a special place in my heart, and every time I watch the golden ticket take flight I am instantly drawn to that tender moment in the movie theatre so long ago.
If you are having a bad day, or just want to start the day in good spirits, I highly recommend turning on your local cartoon channel or digging out those animated favourites of yesteryear.
Maybe you’ll fall for a cartoon sponge too.