Snoopy Love

Snoopy Love

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When I was a kid, my father could never remember that I love Hello Kitty and he thought that Hello Kitty was interchangeable with Snoopy. To me, Hello Kitty and Snoopy are opposites and it enraged me. Hello Kitty is not Snoopy. Hello Kitty is a cat with no mouth. Snoopy is a dog that doesn’t talk.

My childhood self was like, Why couldn’t he see me? Why couldn’t he see that these were two completely different things? He would come home all excited and say, “Look what I’ve got for you,” and sure enough it was a Snoopy, an effing Snoopy! I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, but come on SNOOPY?!?!!

Truth is, my daddy was a Snoopy. He was the flying ace, the best friend of Charlie Brown, the cool alter ego of a character plagued by bad luck. And I was Hello Kitty, perfectly designed, a magical use of space where art, design and functionality met with grace. Beautiful Hello Kitty, with no mouth to say hello, a mascot to remind me to find my voice and to thine own self be cute.

So on these occasions I would say, “Oh, thank you!” And then throw Snoopy in the closet. One day I realized that I had a closet full of Snoopys. When I counted them, there was something like 25 freaking Snoopys! And later on in my teen years still full of love for hello kitty, I had an incredible realization. I realized that all those Snoopys represented attempts of love.

Each time the way that I received those attempts of love was with disregard. And I never wanted to disregard love again. Those Snoopys weren’t about me at all. It was about him, this grown man, finding Snoopy dolls and putting up with all the perceptions that go along with a grown man buying Snoopy dolls and I was discarding them, throwing them in a closet, and I never took the time to say it’s the cat that I like. I like Hello Kitty. I never really told him the truth.

Now you might be thinking that the moral of the story is tell the truth. No. Here’s the twist. The moral of the story is, had it been from my mother, giving me Snoopy instead of Hello Kitty, I would have been like, are you kidding me?!!? How dare you?!?! Because relationships that we have with our mothers have an unfailing amount of honesty to the point of being mean. This would have been course corrected, or perhaps there would not have been any subsequent Snoopys or Hello Kitty’s. But I would have taken the time to tell her, to teach her, to reach her with this information.

There is a point where we stop being our mothers’ daughters and we start being our mothers’ teachers. And the way that we teach our mothers is with truth. We tell the truth until the day comes when our mothers need us to care for them and then we become the holders of our mothers truths. So I don’t know what it is that you may be grieving, perhaps it is a transformation of roles with your parents or even a relationship where it feels as though the rules have changed or simply that you are in a world filled with Snoopys and all you want is a Hello Kitty pencil case to write your story. Recognize that it’s more of an acknowledgement that you’re changing in your roles and that’s okay. It means that you’re growing up. And there’s nothing that’s happening that you can’t handle, we can transcend Snoopy but we mustn’t transcend attempts at love and connection.

About Sandee

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I believe that the definition of leadership is making opportunities for others. I am a leadership geek and find that the richest opportunities for all of our futures lie in education. I am a believer in reciprocity in education and that as educators we are both teacher and student. I believe that the world can be a classroom if we open ourselves to the notion that application, concatenation and liberation start with listening. Schedule Sandee to Speak

About i.c.stars

i.c.stars is a non-profit organization in Chicago for adults with a high school diploma or GED. Using project-based learning and full immersion teaching, i.c.stars provides an opportunity for change-driven, future leaders to develop skills in business and technology. To learn more go to www.icstars.org

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