Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Here You Are...Wondering...Why Am I Here?

"To love, of course."

This was the answer from a little five year old girl in the middle of the night at 2am when she couldn't sleep and had picked Here You Are off her bookshelf for her mother to read to her.

Her mother, who was going through a violent divorce, reconciliation, and second divorce with the father of the girl, had never taught this to her daughter - except in the way she lived her life. Both mother and daughter were loving people. They loved the father who was violent and a drug user, but needed to get him out of their lives. The mother feeling badly about the constant fights was surprised that her daughter knew that life was about love in spite of all the fighting she had had to witness since babyhood.

Here You Are doesn't really teach children anything as so many children's books try to do. It simply puts out the fundamental human questions, and confirms in children what they already know - and so often to the utter surprise of their parents. My own son - in spite of declaring by third grade that he was too old for Here You Are - kept asking sheepishly for it until the end of fourth grade whenever he woke up from nightmares.

Then there are the tattooed, Oxycontin popping teenagers who love Here You Are - but that's another story - for the next "Why Am I Here?" post.

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