Dora the Explorer became a regular series in 2000. My oldest daughter was born in 2001. My kids have not known a world without Dora the Explorer.
I don’t really have a problem with Dora. She’s a spunky, 7-year-old girl with parents who show that they don’t care much about her by letting her go on globe-spanning adventures. The fact that she has survived in spite of such negligent parenting is a testament to her tenacity and toughness.
No–it’s not Dora that I despise. It’s Boots.
Yes, I know that he seems innocent enough. I know that he is always saying how much he loves pretty much everything. I know that he helps Dora do even the most menial of tasks. He seems like such a good little monkey. And therein lies the problem.
I know monkeys. Monkeys are my favorite animals. When I am at the zoo I spend an inordinate amount of time watching them. Monkeys are fascinating.
Boots isn’t a monkey. He’s an imposter.
You want proof?!?! Here’s the proof:
1. He never throws his own poo. That’s a standard activity among monkeys, right? Yet Boots hasn’t ever picked up his poo and flung it at anymore. Not even at Swiper or the Grumpy Old Troll who lives under the bridge. If he was a real monkey, Swiper would think twice about messing with Dora and the Grumpy Old Troll would keep his riddles to himself.
2. He’s light blue with a yellow belly and purplish face. Really?!?! REALLY?!?! No monkey really looks like that. And if he did the other monkeys would beat him up. Or at least throw poo at him.
3. He wears red boots. This is probably the most convincing evidence. Everyone knows that talking monkeys who befriend 7-year-old girls prefer wearing Nike tennis shoes. There is something about that swoosh that gives them the confidence that they need. Of course a monkey named Nike would probably pose some licensing problems.
4. His relationship with Dora. Even though Dora is a polite young lady, there is no doubt that she bosses Boots around. And he lets her. He doesn’t try to rip her face off or anything. Terrible.
So if Boots isn’t a monkey, what is he? Honestly, I have no idea. He could be a lobotomized alien, a science fair project gone horribly wrong, a Jersey Shore reject. Who knows?
It doesn’t really matter.
What does matter is what we are and what we believe about ourselves.
We are created by God who loves us, who wants a relationship with us, who is faithful toward us even when we are faithless toward him.
It seems that many of the people I come in contact with allow themselves to be defined by their past and present failings. They see themselves as being worthless and their lives as being hopeless. They view their lives and their dreams as useless.
They are wrong.
I may not be sure about whether Boots is a real monkey or not, but I know that all of us are really significant to God.
And if we are significant to the only One who really matters, shouldn’t that be enough.
What do you think about Boots? Go ahead–be honest?
How do you feel about yourself these days?