Sunday, May 13, 2012

"What would you do if your mother asked you?"

I just read over this blog's first Mother's Day post, and this paragraph caught my eye:

The read-alouds petered out, but during my high school years, my mother and I came full circle, becoming volunteer readers in the waiting room of a local health clinic. We developed a Where the Wild Things Are routine that involved the roaring of terrible roars and the gnashing of terrible teeth. Children's books became our thing, a thing it was our job to share with the world. "Oh, yeah, children's books," I said to myself. "You know, I really like these."

Not surprisingly, I'd already been thinking about Max and Mother's Day. Max's mother has an enormous amount of power over the way he views his position in the world. As the text implies in a few places, she's usually his source of comfort and belonging. When she tells him he's a wild thing, there's nothing to do but become one for a while.

Mom (or Dad, but that's a subject for next month) very often directly creates the circumstances of a child's world. Mom can say no to buying that bear in the corduroy overalls who doesn't look new. She can leave the house, presumably with the family car, and force you to sit, sit, sit, sit and stare at the rain. Speaking of making way, she can take you safely through Boston and help you find a home at the Public Garden.

Growing up often means doing the things Mom might have done before. It might mean emptying your piggy bank and bringing Corduroy home. It might mean making your own fun with a cat in a hat--and trying, mom-like, to control the situation. It might mean one day leading your own flock of ducklings. It might mean stepping into your private boat and deciding for yourself to come home.

Or it might mean reading stories with a mom who's become a friend.

Happy Mother's Day.

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