I was not prepared to cry today. But a two-minute clip from Nick Jr. unleashed the waterworks. I wasn’t the only one. For once, the post that was going viral online wasn’t another episode of bad politics, tragic news, or a reminder of the world going to hell. Instead, it was a wholesome hello from a pillar of every millennial’s childhood: Steve from Blue’s Clues.
“Hi, you got a second?”
I don’t know why it hit so hard. The guy did nothing but say hi and wish us the best. Some articles are buzzing about how he provided “closure” for his abrupt departure from the show all those years ago. I couldn't care less about his reasons—it’s his life, after all. But his words, brief as they were, hit close to home because like many, Steve was one of my first idols, a reminder of a time when life was once good, happy, and simple. Back when both your parents were still alive, money wasn’t an issue, relationships were honest, and kindness was easy. Back when the world wasn’t so complicated and messy, and our understanding of society wasn’t yet tainted with all the bitter realities. Back when we believed the best in people—and they in turn believed the best in us.
Watching Blue’s Clues all those years ago, cross-legged in front of the old boxey TV, left kids around the world feeling light-hearted and comforted, and Steve played a huge role in that. But he had some growing up to do, and so did we. We’re all older and wiser—some with less hair than others—and we’re not exactly excited about the mail anymore (unless it’s an online shopping delivery).
But growing up wasn’t easy. Despite Hollywood’s constant romanticization of it, the whole “coming-of-age” phase is painful, messy, and overrated. The truth is, we’re missing all the clues, can’t get anything right, and lack the community of lowkey empowering spices and household tools to get us through the day. Maybe Steve could sense it because his two-minute video comes at a time when all the kids he once entertained are now in their mid-20s to 30s, collectively struggling to get their shit together.
"Look at all you have done and all you have accomplished in all that time. And it's just… it's just so amazing, right? I mean, we started out with clues and now it's what? Student loans, and jobs, and families, and some of that has been kind of hard, you know? I know you know.”
Oh yes, we know. And logically, we also know that this random stranger wouldn’t even know us if he met us on the street, but he hit a chord, knowing that everyone needs someone, somewhere out there rooting for them.
“I guess I just wanted to say that after all these years I never forgot you. Ever. And I'm super glad we're still friends.”
So yeah. Thanks, Steve, for making all of our childhoods worthwhile. Time flies, but after all these years, I never forgot about you either.
Now excuse me as I join the Internet as we collectively cry.