I dare YOU to read it without crying…
Tonight for bedtime I read to Elliott I Love you Forever by Robert Munsch. My son loves books…as I’ve mentioned before. And tonight HE picked this one for me to read before bed off of his bookshelf. I’m pretty sure he brought it to me because he loves to say the word “baby” and so he brought it over and said, “Baby. Baby!” pointing at the cover.
Sure enough, I get to the part where the mother still wants to go and rock her adult son to sleep at night (complete with a ladder to his room — which I recognize is creepy out of context) and then the part where she is dying and her son is the one rocking her and I am a complete mess.
I remember when my mom used to read this book to me and I’d think, “Oh. That’s a nice story…but seriously mom, why are you crying like that??”
(Which reminds me of another PSA: If you are a parent of young children, please stay away from the recent Pulitzer Prize winning article for Feature Writing by The Washington Post. It’s about parents who kill their children by forgetting them in cars and I made the mistake of reading it AT SCHOOL during another teacher’s class! It’s deserving of the Pulitzer, but don’t read it. I’m just warning you. It’ll rip your insides out — it haunted me all day long.)
Anyway, prior to Elliott, I wasn’t exactly the overly sentimental type. But in the past three days I have cried over 1. Love You Forever, 2. Corduroy, and 3. The Velveteen Rabbit. (1. Purposefully crafted to tug at a mom’s heart. 2. The bear lost a button AND he gets a new home with the nice girl. 3. I refuse to read this book again. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it!) I’ve also started to turn on the waterworks during clichéd “I love you” speeches during romantic comedies. Matt said that crying during a Matthew McConaughey movie is grounds for divorce and frankly I’m inclined to agree.
I just don’t want to be a “crier”. I was much happier as my sarcastic, disdainful self. As a matter of fact, during the commencement ceremonies for my Masters degree, our student speaker mentioned me by name! She said that she wanted to be a student in my class just to experience the daily sardonic comments and perfected derisive mocking. I wasn’t sure at the time if she was paying me a compliment or not; looking back, I’m beginning to think that was a flowery way of saying that I’m mean. (I personally don’t think that’s true, but women who are smart and outspoken are often misunderstood. I’m in good company.) But maybe motherhood has softened me. Or maybe this is just a phase and I’ll outgrow it too.
Either way, I’m really trying to get better about not blubbering through Elliott’s bedtime books. At some point, I know he’s just going to look at me, look at the book, take the book away from me and go hand it to Matt.
** Morocco update. I’m not getting into Secret Son much this week. I’m going to really work on reading some of it tonight before LOST is on. Also, for my first two books I am sending $$ to Hands of Hope. My aunt is trying to raise $12,000 to build a well in one of the most poverty stricken areas in Uganda. Check out their website for more information. And if this organization speaks to you, you can donate right on the site! Or if you feel led to personally help my aunt in her quest, post a comment and I’ll give you details on how. http://www.handsofhopeonline.org/