To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world. [Dr. Seuss]
Yesterday was declared “Dr. Seuss Day” in honour of the birthday of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel. It's a day meant to encourage reading, which also coincides with the 111th anniversary of this man's birth. You've heard perhaps that there's a new Dr. Seuss book coming out later this year? I am a little leery of the prospect, given that so often material released after an artist's death is made up of leftovers that were never meant to see the light of day. But after all, it's Dr. Seuss...let's hope for the best, right?
Like so very many of us, I grew up on Dr. Seuss. From the super popular Green Eggs and Ham to Hop on Pop, One Fish, Two Fish, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Cat in the Hat, to the rather obscure I Wish That I Had Duck Feet. (Careful what you wish for, Davis...size 10.5 is close enough). My parents had subscribed to some book club, I'm sure, and I'm awfully glad that they did.
His cleverly rhyming words, combined with colour-soaked whimsical artwork, turned into the best advice possible when he wrote the lovely, thought-provoking and heart-filled Oh, The Places You'll Go which, when published in 1990, became the last of his works put out during his lifetime. He left us the following year.
But this year, another Dr. Seuss book is due to hit bookshelves and e-readers. I can't wait to add it to a growing collection that baby Colin is already amassing, thanks to a brilliant idea from my sister that, rather than a card, shower guests bring the newborn a book. Every night, Lauren or Phil rocks him and reads to him. He's already on his way to appreciating books, even at only four-and-a-half months.
I always had a book idea in mind for children – one with a lesson I came to later in life, but was able to pass on to Lauren – that no matter what someone says you are, you have to give them permission to be right. I even have a name for it: “I am Not Purple.” But that's for another day. Everyone thinks they can write a children's book (or a country hit) but those who've succeeded are the rarity and I have the utmost respect for them.
So I thought that maybe, instead, I'd try my hand at writing a poem here to Colin. In honour of the late Dr. Seuss, I, too, am late...by a day. But my heart's in the right place. And this is for the little boy who owns it.
If I just had a dollar – or nickel, or dime
How rich I would be for each wish to stop time....
And keep you a baby, so sweet in my arms,
Just rocking and talking, memorizing your charms.
I'd change every diaper and keep you well fed,
And sing silly songs I make up in my head.
Songs about lady bugs, rainbows and hearts
Songs with great sounds, too, like buzzes and farts.
We'd play with your toys like your Sophie Giraffe,
And I'd never give up trying to get you to laugh.
But you aren't my baby, you've got your own mother
You've tons of admirers, and I'm just another!
And though sometimes it's hard when we live far apart
Please know, sweetest baby, you're HERE in my heart
And our memories help me from feeling too blue
Even though I do miss you – and your sweet parents, too.
If you ever need an angel – an angel? Not me!
But I'll always be with you, my sweetest sweet pea.
Love – Me.