You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself any direction you choose.
Tomorrow is Dr Seuss’ and my son’s birthday.
While Theodore Geisel would be 109 tomorrow, and my son is just 5, the children’s author has been such a huge part of my son’s and daughter’s life since day one.
The first book I read to both of my children was “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish”. The book they go to bed by is “The Sleep Book”, the story they ask to read more than any other is “The Lorax”. To that end, my son still thinks that seeded dandelions are truffula trees, and that we simply cannot perceive the people beneath them, because, “A person’s a person no matter how small.” (He still likes to blow the seeds off of them, proving he’s missing the point just a tad, but hey, everybody needs a thneed)
The book I most want them to wrap their developing minds around, and sew into the stitchings of their hearts is “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.”
I want them to understand exactly what the book says. I want them to realize that they can fully realize their individual potential, that there’ll be ups and downs, confusing choices, and difficult decisions, but through it all they can persevere.
Oddly enough, I also want them to love The Cat in the Hat, because what the hell is the fun of life if there isn’t a little mayhem and mischief? I couldn’t possibly enjoy life without it.
Dr Seuss understood that children were unique as snowflakes. That was his most divine gift. People tried for years to box me into some cookie cutter version of what they thought I should be like, and it didn’t work. I rebelled against it, and it ended up harming me far more than helping me. Had Theodore Geisel been my teacher/shrink, I think I’d have been far better off. I love watching what makes my children unique. I love how my son throws himself into his imagination with wild abandon, creating movies on his iphone, and setting up scenes in our living room. I love watching my daughter feed all of her animals and dolls, and force our dog to attend tea parties.
We are all individual creatures. I know I am crazy, and I know that everyone has a little bit of their own crazy. What made Dr Seuss so incredible is that instead of dimming everyone’s freak flag, he managed to sew them together into a wonderful freak quilt of literature to warm us with when we’re feeling the cold of our loneliness.