Little Killjoy

August 23, 2012

On the way into school this morning, Vanya remembered an incident from the previous day.

"You know what Papa? Marnie said that Power Rangers weren't real."

"She did?"

"Yeah. I had to tell her they were too real!"

Recounting the story was getting his dander up. It must have been quite an argument.

"I'm going to go tell her again!"

I didn't have the heart to take Marnie's side. It was just too recently that we were at Disney World, and he was skipping happily around, having met Mickey Mouse, not even considering that he might not be real. It feels like I have about 10 minutes of childhood left, and if that means acknowledging the existence of dumb-shit Power Rangers, then that's what I do.

It's not really much different from all of you who teach your kids that the Old Testament is real.

Okay, that was a cheap laugh line. I acknowledge that we aren't likely to go 5000 years into the future and find that almost all of the world's major religions are built on a foundation of Power Rangers. But at least if they were, that would explain why so many people in history were compelled to attack others who were content to live and let live.

Getting back to the schoolyard, I told Vanya, "Just tell her that you like Power Rangers, and what she thinks doesn't matter." But I was thinking, "Go tell that little killjoy that there's no such thing as Santa Claus, and then promptly forget that I mentioned it."

Vanya's at a different elementary school this year, and even though it's early, I have a good feeling about it. The classes are really small, they don't seem to have anyone who's hell-bent on quashing his quirky individual style, and the kids do seem to be really nice. He's told me all about the favorite characters of the boys who share his recess: one likes Mario, one is nuts about Batman, and he's really seemed to click with a Kindergartener who likes all manner of Power Rangers and super heroes.

There's no mention of My Little Pony, though. And truth be told, that's probably been his #1 go-to cartoon this summer. Either he hasn't noticed that they're all girls, or he doesn't care. He's watched both seasons on Netflix several times through.

One last thought: V definitely used the name Marnie, and that only means that there's a 50% chance that this is actually the girl's name. But it reminds me of one of my favorite bits of trivia. You probably don't know the name Marni Nixon, but she was the singing voice that the lead actresses lip-synced to in the movie versions of The King and I, West Side Story, and My Fair Lady. That's a pretty amazing resume. I can only assume that since she stayed behind the camera, her looks were as ugly as here singing was pretty.