08 May 2012

Good Morning, Darling Boy

"If there's any advice I have to give, I would say it's that. If you're looking for a way to get closer to your kids, there ain't no better way than to grab 'em and read. And if you put them in front of a computer or a TV, you are abandoning them. You are abandoning them because they are sitting on a couch or a floor and they may be hugging a dog, but they ain't hugging you. "  - Maurice Sendak

Dearest Max:

You woke up around 2:40 this morning, screaming. This is not usual, and I went in to you, only to find you standing in the crib, tears streaming down your face like your heart was broken. I picked you up and you stopped and nuzzled your head into my shoulder. Your diaper wasn't unusually full and nothing seemed to be visibly wrong, so I chalked it up to a nightmare and cuddled you. We sat in the rocker and rocked for a bit, then I nursed you before putting you back to bed.

When "real" wake-up time came, I entered your room as I do every morning, singing, "Good morning, Darling Boy, you are my only joy!" from Pierre: a coutionary tale in five chapters and a prologue and you smiled at me. Whatever had frightened you during the night was forgotten and you were happy once again.

When we came downstairs for breakfast, I turned on NPR and learned that Maurice Sendak died this morning around 2:45a.m. I realize that it sounds a little crazy, but I can't help but think that a little part of you felt that loss and woke up to mourn. His books have already been such a big part of your short life. Your name is at least partly inspired by Where the Wild Things Are. You came home from the hospital wearing a Max onesie and gave your Daddy a WTWTA t-shirt for his very first Father's Day. The first dvd you showed any interest in is a collection of Sendak stories. We sing the Nutshell Library books often, set to the wonderful music Carole King wrote for them. And, of course, we read something by Mr. Sendak almost every day. I really feel like we have lost a part of the family, that a dear uncle has left us.

But he hasn't, really. We will continue to share his stories and his illustrations and one day you will read them to your own children. And in this way, he will live on forever.

I love you, my Little Wild Thing. Let us wish Maurice Sendak much peace and love and thanks for all he has shared with us.