Inspired by kids books

I loved reading bedtime stories to my son when he was really little. We fell off it for a long while when he was old enough to read on his own, though. As mentioned a few days ago, we recently started reading at the dinner table instead. It’s had me thinking about some of his old picture books. There have been a few that I’ve come back to over the years.

It’s more than that. There are three of his picture books that I think about all the time. They have unexpectedly powerful messages. My favorite of his books has always been Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. I hadn’t read it as a kid. I don’t know how I missed it up until my mother-in-law bought it for my son, but I did. Then I fell in love with it like pretty much everyone else. There’s all the exhilaration for adventure, but also the true moments of failure and waiting. I appreciate the way it sends the message that there will be bumps on the road to where we wanna be but that we’ll get there if we keep going.

Somebody’s Treasure is a Winnie the Pooh story about how things we want to throw away can be useful to other people. The message isn’t just to recycle, but that something that means nothing from one perspective or experience, improves the life of someone else in some way. The story rolls through each of the characters and showcases a few of the ways that people can help each other out by not assuming that something is trash just because its no longer useful for you. It really makes me think about things before throwing them away. I’ve moved a lot in my adult life, so I’ve gone through some extra rounds of purging my belongings and I think about this book every time.

I bought my first house a few years ago now, and The Big Orange Splot is the book I think about most often these days. The repeating line that makes the book rolls through my head at least once a week, especially whenever my husband and I do work on household projects like the koi pond.

My house is me and I am it. My house is where I like to be and it looks like all my dreams.

Mr. Plumbean, The Big Orange Splot, by Daniel Manus Pinkwater

We actually say that a lot whenever we talk about making improvements to unorthodox parts of the house. Its part mantra, part justification. Still, we’ve ended up with a home that continues to grow into our dreams, even the crazy ones.

Especially the crazy ones….

I now have a yoga room that also functions as a hammock room when we all lay around and read together. I have a 1500 gallon koi pond with almost 30 fish in my backyard with a deck that stretches from the house to the pond and is also great for yoga. I have an air conditioned garage that is practically a kennel and has all the dog gear that my husband has ever wanted. Its gotten us thinking lately that we need to purge the house of all the versions of us that don’t fit anymore and continue to build a home that looks like all our dreams. It’ll be fun to continue thinking about what that is or means.

These are the books that started off as kids books but will stay in my house forever, unless he specifically wants to take them with him. They mean a lot more to me than I thought any kid’s books could. Is anyone else regularly inspired by picture books they read years ago??

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