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Monday, September 19, 2011

Learning About Life Through Dr. Seuss

This afternoon I volunteered to read to Bean's 2nd grade classmates. It is a 25 minute shift, gives her wonderful teacher a bit of time to grade papers and the kids a bit of entertainment. I asked Bean if there was anything that she wanted me to bring to read and she said I could pick it out.


Bean headed off to school on this chilly fall morning

Naturally, I went right to the shelf on the girls' shared bookcase that holds all of the Dr. Seuss books. I remember liking Dr. Seuss books when I was little but I love them now that I am a grown up. I love that while rhyming the craziest of words that I am also teaching my girls how to be better people and that they totally get it.

Today, I chose to bring a Collector's Edition that includes the stories of "Yertle the Turtle", "Gertrude McFuzz" and "The Big Brag".  As I was reading them, each story brought out some of my own feelings.

"Yertle the Turtle" shows that you have to count on a lot of people to be at the "top" and that if you don't treat those people who helped get you to the "top" well, that it can all come tumbling down. This is kind of where I was last April. I was trying so hard to be the best I could be at being a wife, a mom and a career woman that I ended up taking some people for granted and I was miserable in the process. It all came to a head and instead of letting everything fall apart, my husband and I decided it was time for me to resign. Since then, I have been working on being a better wife, mom and friend. I may not be at the "top" I expected to be at this point in my life but I am at the "top" I want to be at this point in my life.

"Gertrude McFuzz" reminds us that we shouldn't compare ourselves to everyone else and/or try to "one up" them and to just accept who we are. This is kind of where I am now. I started blogging one month ago today and even though I am new at this I often feel defeated when my viewing stats aren't as high as I would like them to be. I look at my followers and I still have the same 16 that I have had since the first week I started blogging. I wonder why so many other bloggers have the amount of visitors and followers they do. I ask myself, "Why do they like them better than me?!" Then I had a friend on Facebook that I haven't seen in almost 20 years comment that she didn't know I was a writer and that she liked my blog. Me...a writer and she liked what I had written. That is what snapped me out of it. I didn't start this because I wanted mass followings (although, don't get me wrong...I would love it). I started this as a creative outlet and something to hopefully look back on in years to come for the memories, not to compete with the blogger on the next web page. Instead of comparing myself to other bloggers, I will just enjoy the time I set aside to blog.

"The Big Brag" explains that people who have to brag, really don't have anything to brag about and that they are just trying to make themselves seem better than they really are. I'm not a bragger. I actually doubt myself constantly so I would never want to set myself up for failure by bragging but what I took from this story is that you shouldn't invent things to brag about. What you should do is find something about yourself that you are proud of and enjoy that feeling.

After reading each of these stories to the class today, I felt good. The kids laughed, they made comments about how badly the main characters behaved and why and I reminded myself that at any age...we can always learn through the writings of Dr. Seuss.

What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

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2 Comments:

At September 19, 2011 at 9:17 PM , Blogger cyndi said...

The Lorax is the BEST message book ever!

 
At September 21, 2011 at 7:37 AM , Blogger Nick said...

I have to agree that the Lorax is a great Dr. Seuss book! I found my old copy the other day.

I reference Green Eggs and Ham constantly at the dinner table with the kids, hasn't been effective at getting them to eat something they loved last week, though!

 

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