bunt sign

Saturday, August 25, 2001

I wonder if the children who watched Free to Be...You and Me in 1974 enjoyed it and appreciated it as much as I did. Probably not, but even if they did, they've grown up and are now probably into Jackie Chan and Adam Sandler. Violence, explosive action and gross-out comedy antics have taken over. But I think Free to Be, with its message of celebration of individuality, was probably an aberration in its own time. And the meaning is just as important today.

When I first saw the program I was 25 years old, not a child but not really an adult. At least, I didn't feel like an adult (not that I always do even now). So I can't say seeing it again last night on TV Land made me feel like a kid again, but I had a lump in my throat from start to finish, just as I did when I saw it in 1974. It made me want to go out and buy the album again, so I can listen to those wonderful songs.

I've watched it three times and saved it on video, but I haven't been able to bring myself to delete it from TiVo. I'll have to eventually, because the TiVo hard drive will only hold so much programming before it starts refusing to record anything else. But it's cool and comforting to have Marlo Thomas and Friends just a click away at any time.

It was a one-of-a-kind television event with songs, sketches, stories and a positive message. It wasn't loud or crude or insulting. It was quiet, gentle and uplifting, and it made enough of an impact on me that I've remembered it all these years and looked forward to seeing it again last night. And I'll be watching it from now on, whenever I need an emotional lift.

On the subject of emotionally uplifting experiences, I've been following the Little League World Series, and the two championship games today were full of the joy that playing a game and doing your best can bring out in children. The two teams that played for the U.S title could not have been more different in their backgrounds, one from the inner city and the other from the suburbs, but both played with intensity and joy, plus the support of loving friends and parents.

The international championship game produced endless smiles from both sides, and a style of play that showed why baseball is such a great sport. Children of all sizes and shapes, performing with energy and enthusiasm, showed that (as one parent commented) the size of the body doesn't matter as much as the size of the heart.

It was a delight to watch these kids transcend the confrontational politics that youth sports are sometimes associated with. They played with love and respect for the game, for each other, and even for their opponents. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

webs in the mist

These are the same webs pictured in yesterday's entry, from the reverse angle.

I spent most of the day, when I wasn't watching Little League baseball, working. The Boss has been away from his office for over a month, and today was his first day back. I've been waiting for this chance to give him messages and catch up on paperwork, and I didn't mind doing it on a Saturday. The relief it gives me to dump some of my problems on him is worth giving up a few hours of my weekend.

It was a hot day, so I didn't get out into the yard until this evening. It felt good to be out in the cooler air, and it was a step toward recovery from the stresses of the past week. Summer has less than a month left, and I treasure these days when I can still spend so much time outside. I remember last winter only too well. I much prefer summer.

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It's all right to cry,
Crying gets the sad out of you.
It's all right to cry,
It might make you feel better.