Puppy Love: Snoopy and the Gang

10931101_10205735034237612_9119610920693587910_n 10885101_10205705954070626_2270067256962905496_n 10917046_10205705937110202_7342363244371041508_n Back in the dark ages, when my sister and I were kids and we got our news from a physical paper delivered to our door rather than online subscriptions to news outlets, we looked forward to the Sunday paper. We loved the comics. In our paper, The Peanuts were front page, above the fold. They were the headliners.

Snoopy and the gang just always seemed to be around: each Sunday they filled squares on the paper, but they were also painted on a coffee mug in the cabinet, a Snoopy stuffed animal sat on my bed, every major holiday there was a cartoon on television (that had to be viewed by appointment because we didn’t get a VCR until I was in middle school), and Peanut character Christmas ornaments decorated our tree.

Apart from the overly sanctimonious speech in Charlie Brown Christmas, Linus was my favorite. Although, I’m pretty sure it only seems sanctimonious if you’ve watched it 487 times, as we did this past Christmas season. DVDs, y’all. They are the blessing and the curse of modern parenting. See also: Netflix.

But Linus had a blanket, and I had a blanket. In fact, I had a blanket WAY past what is socially acceptable to hang on to such things. I loved that thing. My son doesn’t get the blanket situation, but he does love some Peanuts.

So even though Charles Schulz has been dead for 15 years, and my son has no idea what a newspaper delivered to your door is like, Charlie Brown is still part of our lives. He’s like background music or wallpaper.

This weekend, the Clinton Center invited a group of bloggers to the opening of their two current temporary exhibits on the Peanuts. One is Valentine themed; the other focuses on football. Love and football are somehow always linked in my world.

It’s the 65th anniversary of the strip. And it still holds up. I suspect it’s because Schulz wrote about the pain and disappointment of growing up. He made it funny, which makes it bearable. But no matter how the world around us changes, the experience of growing up never really does.

Jackson had a blast. He saw Snoopy. He invited him to live with us. That child will do anything to get another pet dog. He also got to see his favorite sitter, who is the son of my friend Kyran, who also came to the event. And Cafe 42, the Clinton Center restaurant, makes a mean grilled cheese. What else could a kid want?

A new Peanuts cartoon is slated to be released November 6th of this year, which is my 40th birthday! I like to think of that as a special birthday gift to me from Snoopy. Because really, it’s all about me.

The exhibits are open at the Clinton Center until April 5, 2015. There will be family friendly programs Saturdays January 31, February 7 & 14. There is no additional charge for those events, but admission to the Center is required to view the exhibits. If you’re in Little Rock, you should totally check them out.

Because really, who doesn’t love the Peanuts?

Disclosure: My family was able to tour the exhibits at no charge, and we were provided lunch at Cafe 42. I was not compensated for writing this post. I genuinely enjoyed the exhibits and so did my kid. I plan to return with other family members later. It’s really that good. And we’re also that big of Peanuts fans.

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