There was a period when my daughter was quite little that we watched Barney. My son, being only two years older, appreciated Barney more than she did. I figured it was my parental obligation to not bash the inane songs and goofy dancing segments. As a child, I had sometimes watched Sesame Street and Electric Company, so my kids should have the same time-wasting opportunity. However, I drew the line at Teletubbies, the brain-numbing creatures I consider children's slap-stick.
In the short time we allowed Barney to infiltrate our home, I remember a few of the songs he sang. One was "Clean up, clean up, everybody, everywhere..." And, another about brushing teeth that instructed children, in an attempt to save the planet, to "Never let the water run."
Branded into my brain are both tunes and they pop up in the weirdest places.
Yesterday a cousin confided in me that she is getting a divorce. I was totally caught off-guard. They have been married about 25 years and have four kids.
During her story, all I could hear in my head was the Barney tune, but the lyrics were not about brushing teeth. Instead, permeating the strange workings of my mind, was the tooth-brushing melody, but the lyrics were, "Never let the devil in."
More background. This cousin's parents had been married forever. She is one of eight children. All were raised Catholic and attended Catholic grade school. All eight have been married. Seven of the eight are divorced, some multiple times.
This is nearly an 88% divorce rate in one family. Higher if you count the multiple marriages.
The youngest of the family is only recently married, so pray she escapes the odds.
Everyone has free will, but the poor choices of parents dramatically affect their children. Behind the scenes of this family was abuse, alcoholism, and probably other things that aren't known beyond their front door. The dysfunction of the parents cascades down through the family.
Never let the devil in.