Friday, November 18, 2011
Little Bear And My Boy
Now that I am a mom, I love to read with my little ones. I hope that during the times I snuggle up with my kids, they experience the same wonderful feeling I did as a child so many years ago (well...34 years ago...does this count as "many"?).
Some of my very favorite books were the Little Bear books by Maurice Sendak, illustrated by Else Holmelund Minarik. I loved the simple stories and the lovely illustrations. They made me want to jump right into the books and live with Little Bear and his family deep in the heart of the woods. So I'm thrilled that the Little Bear books are favorites among my crew of little people. My girls love "The Goblin Story" and "Mother Bear's Robin". Lucas is just now developing the attention span to move past board books and into some longer stories. He now asks for "Teddy Bear" books (code for "Little Bear books") each time we sit down.
Today after eating lunch and cleaning up the dishes, he and I sat down in the rocking chair in his room. The afternoon was cloudy, so the room was dark except for the warm glow of the small lamp beside the chair. It cast a yellow light down over the pages. Lucas grabbed his beloved green blanket and we opened the familiar pages of Little Bear's Visit. I started right in, trying to read the words with as much animation as my mother's voice. About halfway through, I noticed that Lucas was very still and his head slightly tilted to the side. I peered down and saw his eyes shut and his chest rising with deep, sleepy breaths. I closed the book and set it down, wrapping my arms tightly around his little body. I shut my eyes and breathed in the scent of the top of my boy's head, cherishing the moment for awhile before gently moving him to his crib to finish the rest of his nap.
In the quiet of his bedroom, I tried to imagine a similar scene-- one in which I was was a small two year old girl and my mom was the one with her eyes closed and her arms wrapped tightly around me. Although I would have been too young to really remember such a thing, I like to think that it happened one day while we were reading Little Bear together on a cloudy afternoon some thirty-something years ago.