My blog–well, quite frankly it has been abandoned. Over the last few months I have not had the energy or the time to keep up with daily posts. I’ve been a little busy overseeing a preschool ministry at church, being a wife and mom, moving and working on a little writing project that has invaded every area of my life.
Truly, I have wanted to return to blogging but have said a thousand times to Bruce, “I just feel so empty on the inside. I have nothing left to write about.”
But what should pull me out of an 8-month blog hiatus?
The death of Maurice Sendak.
Sounds sorta morbid huh? Just hold on, I promise to take a strong upward turn here and move onto more uplifting subjects.
On Thursday night, I read an article about Sendak’s death. I was flooded with tons of emotions. Immediately I was transported back to Where the Wild Things Are. And the beautiful sets for the Pacific Northwest Ballet company’s version of the Nutcracker that Sendak designed. His stories and art transported me–and untold numbers of other young children–to places our imaginations were incapable of taking us on our own. Reading his stories and looking at his art, it was like Sendak was sitting beside me giving me a little nudge to go ahead and enter into a world full of excitement and wonder.
I am the beneficiary of a mom whose love of books and written word led her to a degree in library science. She was one of those moms who had strong opinions about a lot of things. One of her firm beliefs is that children should read. And, read a lot because books are overwhelming superior to television and film.
So strong in her opinion about this that it caused her to make crazed decisions.
At the beginning of each summer, my sisters and myself were assigned summer reading lists. No big deal right? As soon as the summer reading list was posted, the crazies kick in. My mom unplugged the TV, removed it from where it was perched the previous spring and flung it in the closet. The TV was not to be returned until summer was over.
No amount of begging or whining ever returned the TV during those long, hot summer months. So we read.
Children’s book launched me to the classics. I still remember exactly where I was when I discovered that Reverend Dimmesdale was the father of Hester Prynne’s baby in the Scarlet Letter. I have read that book at least five times since. And the day I discovered that Pip’s benefactor was the escaped convict he graciously helped years earlier, I let out an audible gasp. I was shocked. Dickens had me hook, line, and sinker. I hung on his every word and still had no inclination it was the seemingly despicable character that was, in fact, the most charitable. Dickens turned my world upside down. I have read Great Expectations more than a dozen times.
And don’t even get me started on Jane Austen.
Thank You, Mom, a thousand times over for flinging that TV where it needed to be flung. And marching me to the public library to open up a world of wonder. Your love for the written word developed my imagination.
In honor of Sendak and in celebration of my Mom, I did what was only fitting. I curled up with my little girl and we read all afternoon.
We read The Snowy Day and Hi, Cat. We read Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings. We read The Little House.
And in my best rhyming cadence we read:
In an old house in Paris
that was covered in vines
Lived twelve little girls
in two straight lines.
In two straight lines they broke their bread
Brushed their teeth
and went to bed.
They left the house at half-past nine—
The smallest one was Madeline.
So Gwendolyn, let’s go on a journey with Jack Ezra Keats, Robert McCloskey, Virginia Burton, and Ludwig Bemelmans. They will usher you into a world of excitement and wonder. And once inside that world, thank your Grammy. Because of her, I take you there.