Growing up, the Muppets were always there. My mom would shuffle my brother and I to each and every Muppet movie. We would sit in the dark theater for two hours with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and the entire crazy gang, and for those couple of hours, they were family.
Right before I started seventh grade, my dad was transferred from St. Louis, Missouri to Red Bank, New Jersey. My parents, brother and I sadly left the city of the Arch, Cardinals and the mighty Mississippi river and headed East toward the city that never sleeps (Red Bank is nestled within an hour or so train ride to NYC.) It was a whole new, and scary, world.
Starting school in a new place is daunting. Believe me – I know this from experience. As a naive, shy and nervous junior high kid, I was not ready to embark on this journey. A week after we arrived and two short days before starting a new school, in a new state with zero new friends, my mom hunted down the nearest movie theater. She rounded up my ten-year-old brother, and put us both in the car. She didn’t, however, inform us of our destination. But when she pulled into the theater’s parking lot, we were excited. It was a good move on my mom’s part. She knew we all needed an escape from our new environment, and took us to the mecca of escapism – the movie theater. Guess what was playing? Ironically it was The Muppets Take Manhattan.
The Muppets in this film were just like us: fish out of water. They had to overcome the challenges of being and living somewhere new, readjusting to the hardships and confusion of a big move to a big city – a big change if you will. Thanks to that film in 1984, we knew we could make it with determination and the willpower of Miss Piggy and the gang. All I can say is thank goodness for the Muppets.
Today, my husband and I took String Bean and Squishy to see the new Muppet Movie. My mom met us at the theater and we all sat together, heavily buttered popcorn in hand, not quite knowing what to expect. I mean, it has been a long time since 1984, and my kids are really not too familiar with the Muppets. The film started, and I was transported back. I looked over at all three of my dudes and they were mesmerized. I looked at my mom and was so happy to share yet another Muppet memory with her. I thought about how everything turned out pretty OK in 1984, and how lucky I was to be sitting here with my boys (String Bean is 10 – like my brother was in 1984) enjoying the Muppet show again.
“Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me.” Thanks again, Kermit and gang, for once again bringing laughter, and a little hope, into our lives. Thanks for coming back and allowing my dudes to appreciate you as much as I do. I look forward to seeing you all again soon. Wocka, wocka!