Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Past Stories ~ A Blog Carnival About Childhood

This week's Blog Carnival takes as its prompt the word "childhood". I don't remember much of anything about my childhood but I do recall with delight all the many stories I'd read and act out for my only after tucking him into bed each night. He's 23 now, and I don't get to do that anymore, but I do get to tell on him. . . and me. Two stories we loved and read often together were Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon with its marvelous illustrations by Clement Hurd. My post that follows invokes these two delightful books, incorporating some phrases and lines that still come to mind, and includes a sprinkling of titles of stories from Grimms' Fairy Tales, which we also read aloud.

Where the Wild Things Are

is what we'd dream of when we tired of acting like trolls under bridges or bristly wolves wearing sheeps' skins while blowing down doors of poorly built straw houses. In our island lair (a bed and blankets made do), we didn't have to look out for Little Briar-Rose or hide from The Robber Bridegroom or worry that the Devil with the Three Golden Hairs would come looking for us. We didn't have to sit with some Old Beggar-Woman while she'd tell Stories About Snakes or conjure tales about The Girl Without Hands or make us use The Crystal Ball to mine her fortunes or solve The Riddle of who should marry the poor innkeeper's daughter. Those story-telling brothers, being ever Grimm, always made us eager for a wild rumpus to start. We liked being stranded, if only just before sleep, allowed to gnash our teeth in a place where we could be owner of this world, or sail off through night and day and still have time enough to practice powers that could slip through cracks, re-crack, and make any part of our kingdom that was not so good someplace better.

Where the Wild Things Are,

we could be a king and not have to talk to stupid owls, get mad and eat anyone we pleased — plans or no plans. Sadly, we sometimes couldn't keep out the sadness, not even with an ice cream parlor, not even with a trampoline at the bottom of a swimming pool, not even with chicken soup and rice we'd stir and sip but once or twice. So, when things got too heavy, the shield against sadness too small to make us forget that having everything doesn't protect us from the terrible roars let loose when love goes missing, we'd pull out our Goodnight Moon and, looking all around our room, whisper our quiet goodnight noises everywhere.


Today's host for the One Word Blog Carnival is Peter Pollock. Go here for information about participating and to access links to other contributors' posts. A schedule of remaining one-word prompts is here.


Louise Gallagher said...


Glynn said...

Part of the joy of reading to young children is that you get to read to yourself, too. With my two boys (eight years apart), it was Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, Thomas the Tank Engine (for the younger one), all of the Narnia books, and for the oldest, a four set "superheroes" collection on Superman, Batman and friends. The younger one liked Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but his mother got to read those.

Megan Willome said...

You made such wonderful poems from two of my favorite children's books. And I also spent a lot of time with my mom's old copy of original Grimm fairly tales.

floyd said...

Nice job! Would my children and I have loved to read your stories!

This brings back wonderful memories for me. Where the Wild Things Are was one of my littlest's favorites.

Thanks for the reminder of God's wonderful blessings of our children and the time we get to spend together.

S. Etole said...

What a wonderful picture you have painted of this time.

Chuck Allen said...

I love posts like this that let us stop and remember. Good Night, Moon was one of our favorites with our kids. I also enjoyed singing to them when they were very young. Fun times!

A Joyful Noise said...

Making up stories from scratch takes a vivid imagination, and that is where the fun is! Such a enjoyable time for you and your son as nhe grew up. I am certain that he can remember his childhood!