Kid at Heart

Last weekend, I watched the Nickelodean Kid's Choice Awards. When my dad saw me, he just smirked and shook his head in amusement. It's not like I belong to Generation Z (born after 1995). I don't even belong to Generation Y, also known as Gen Next, today's teens and 20 somethings. Nope. I'm a Generation X baby. I'm 31 and people over 30 should not be enjoying the Kid's Choice Awards...right? I mean, sure things like Disney Channel and Nickelodean were made with kids in mind, but, why can't adults enjoy them too? Why can't we take a break from the seriousness of bill paying and careers to enjoy the innocence and fun? Why can't we let our inner child out sometimes? Actually, I feel sorry for adults who have locked their inner child in a closet somewhere deep in their minds. Makes for a very boring life. I'm grown, but I've never gotten rid of my inner child (I know when and when not to let her out). I think that may be the reason why I work well with kids. They seem to like me - some even gravitate toward me, even when I don't want them to.

Let me just say that I do enjoy cartoons; I do watch Disney/Nickelodean/The N/MTV, etc; I do love Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks/Warner Bros movies; I can understand most of the slang kids use today (and have been known to use it myself); I do enjoy reading picture books and novels for children and teens; and, if I had the time, I'd probably become addicted to playing our XBox 360. It would be a lie if I said I'm simply doing all of this for research purposes since I work with and write for youth. I actually enjoy every activity. Does this make me immature? According to this, it does. Well, at least my reading children's literature for pleasure does. In Horn's words, "adults whose taste in recreational reading ends with the YA novel need to grow up." Wow. My taste doesn't end with children's lit (I read just about everything), but a big chunk of what I read is YA. I don't read children's lit, or watch children's movies, because I consider them to be an easy way out. I do it because I enjoy them. If other adults - my peers - see this as being immature, well so what? Truthfully, I've never cared what other people thought about me. I've always done my thing, whether people thought I was crazy or not. Besides, my whole purpose of being here on Earth is to enrich, educate, and empower our youth, so it's their opinion that really matters. And, in the words of some of the kids I've worked with, I rock! I have this Tinkerbelle bookmark (yes, I also love Tinkerbelle) that says "Never grow up" and that's just what I plan to live by.


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Today is the 40th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's death. On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed because of what he stood for. With all that he went through for a better America, I ask, was his death in vain? I'd like to think not. Personally, I think we've come a loooooong way (I mean, we're at a time where a woman and a black man both have a good chance at becoming the nation's next pres), but we still have a ways to go. Unfortunately, race is still an issue (just pay attention to the presidential race). Will we ever get rid of racism, sexism, classism, and the rest of the 'isms'? I doubt it. As long as humans are alive and breathing, we will always have people who hate others because of what they look like, where they live, the color of their skin, etc. The thing is, we don't have to just sit here and take it. Even though we won't get rid of them completely, we can still alleviate some of the ugliness we have to live with. Each generation should get better. Let's not turn our heads and be blind to the fact that this country, as wonderful as it is, has a long way to still has its issues. Dr. King saw injustice and he fought against it, ultimately losing his life because of it. What are you going to do to make America - and this world - a better place?