You probably don’t take your military child to a Sesame Street show so that you can also be reminded how to navigate military life. You’re probably there for Elmo. Or Cookie. Or Elmo.
But when my family attended the Sesame Street USO show at Fort Campbell this month, we got more than just a heart-full of Sesame Street goodness for my 2-year-old and 5-year-old. The adults also got a reminder on healthy ways to handle PCS season.
The tour, which features Elmo, Cookie Monster, Rosita, Grover, a honker and Katie, a special-to-the-tour military kid character, focuses on the theme of military moves — both PCSing yourself and watching your friends go.
Katie announces at the beginning of the show that she is sad because she just found out that her family is moving away. Elmo, Cookie and the other characters help her learn about ways to feel better (dancing!) and keep in touch (writing letters while dancing!). And just for good measure, there’s more dancing.
This is the third time my family has made it to a Sesame Street USO show during our time in the military. But this time I noticed something I didn’t the last few times we saw these guys do their thing.
This time I left with talking points.
If you ask my 2-year-old the top thing he got out of the event was “Elmo dancing.” My 5-year-old liked the music and popcorn I bought him.
But thanks to this show, I now have a context for which to talk to my kids about moving. When my 5-year-old’s best friend moves away I can sit down and say “hey remember when we went and saw the Sesame Street show? They were sad Katie was moving away. But then they got happy because they could still write each other letters.”
And maybe my kid will remember the singing and dancing and fun we had, and feel a little bit better about military life.
“Everyone comes to see Elmo. I like to think by the end of the show [military kid] Katie is the star because the kids hear her talk about what they’ve been doing through,” said Nicole McClendon, the show’s tour producer.
I’m not sure Katie will ever eclipse the stardom of Elmo in this home, but she definitely gave us something to think about.
With the show coming to 69 bases and 32 states by late October, 2014, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll get a chance to see it, too. Here at Fort Campbell our base gives out tickets on a first come, first served basis a few days before the show. You’ll want to get in touch with your local base events office to find out how they plan to do it.