Snoopy Come Home  

Friday, September 25, 2009

I was at work just the other day, laughing with a friend about old 'Peanuts' episodes. We talked about the specials they came out with for the holidays and such and giggled at ourselves about how we waited all year to see those. It was a light conversation and very enjoyable. I told her that as a child I was not one to cry. But I clearly remember one thing that was GUARANTEED to make me sob hysterically and unconsolably. The Peanuts show called "Snoopy Come Home".

I told her how it was horrible for me, but I wait every year for that one show to air. My sister also remembered and had actually spoken over the years about my violent physical reaction to watching this, every single year. I was literally a blubbering mess, tears and snot, incoherant mumbles and jarring uncontrolable sobs that took HOURS to subside. Once about 2 years ago my sister was telling the story and said "this one here (pointing to me) NEVER cried. You could damn near lop her arm off and she wouldn't cry, but let Snoopy Come Home play-and she was bawling"

I found amusment in the fact that she remembered that about me. I felt slightly embarassed that a childs show was able to have such an effect on me. And I passed it off as silly kid antics.
Until now. Until just a few days ago. Thats when I had an adoptee epiphany. One that now explains so much about me. Who ever would have thunk that Snoopy would be the one to open such a huge floodgate for a 37 year old woman?

The episode is about Snoopy and his former owner at the puppy mill. She had fallen ill and needed him to 'come home'. He packed his little hobo pack with food dish nestled inside and said a hard goodbye to dear ol' Charlie Brown. Charlie was confused, worried and hurt. He wanted to know if he was coming back, why he was leaving him, what did he have to do to make Snoopy stay.
But Snoopy, in a strong bold move of unadulterated loyalness, said goodbye and set off on his journey to his former owner.
He sat at her bedside, nurtured her, loved her, tended to her needs and showered her in laughter and companionship. Then the time came, he had to choose. Charlie Brown and his family or the little girl that he used to belong to. He loved them both so desperately. He did not want to hurt either of them. He was confused and torn.

And I totally FELT that. No matter how many years passed or how many times I saw that same show, I still felt that pain and confusion for Snoopy. It was like it was me.

I never understood before. But now I do. IT WAS ME. That cartoon beagle was me!!!

Now the re-coup time of viewing this show was a couple days. It literally drained me of everything I had. We as a family passed it off as flu/cold, as all kids get. No big deal, but now, I'm convinced it was more. I had a mental meltdown everytime that show played and I was rebounding.

One more thing that I remembered that had long since been forgotten, was that I don't ever remember Mom and Dad being there to watch it with me. I was always with my older sister. That was an evening they seemed to have plans. And I don't think it was a coincidence. I truly believe they couldn't stand to see me like that, they didn't have the words to make it better. No amount of hugs and soothing was ever enough. And I think that they felt utterly helpless and possibly worthless. I can only imagine what went through their minds at this time. I'm now a parent, and if I saw my child have such a reaction to something, I don't know I could handle it either.

How is it that a cartoon can so easily and accurately capture the emotions of adopton? How could it take me decades to figure out that was why I reacted the way I did? It should have been obvious to me, but it wasn't.

Snoopy brought me to my own feelings, something no one on earth was able to do-and I didn't even know it was happening. I have to stop here, I can feel the same old emotions creeping in.

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