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Building Forests of Thought

She woke with a fever. No work for mom today. Or only the best kind of work, depending on your perspective.

The boys off to school, dad off to the office, we snuggled in bed, her sniffling and wiping her teary eyes, me surreptitiously checking my iPhone under the covers. I couldn’t devote my attention to her with so much business on my mind. And she could tell.

Iris rolled over. Then over again. Now perpendicular to me, her head lolling off the side of the bed, she pushed her little feet together and forward in a ballet nod, nudging my device to an awkward angle, and sang in a stuffed-up voice, “Read story, Mom. Read story… Doh work.”

How many of these days will we have together? This is a resource that needs renewing. I sat up and faced her. She sat up and faced me. Tears rolled down her cheeks as I reached for a book. And she smiled.

The book in my hands was The Lorax by Dr. Seuss. The Lorax movie comes out on Friday, March 2. Don’t I know it. The boys rewind the commercials and watch the preview four and five times, back to back. When the Lorax turns and says, “That’s a woman?!” it just never gets old. Apparently.

Unlike any other author of our time, Dr. Seuss taps a vein of whimsy that courses deeply through our very core. He enables us to dive in, through rhythm and rhyme, through image and design, suspending all disbelief and letting us live in his world unfettered.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax hosted a party at the BlissDom social media conference recently, styling an event full of life-size Truffula Trees and a wandering Lorax himself. Sending a camera phone photo of me with the Lorax back home to our three kids was one of the few times I’ve impressed my children with my fancy job. Walking in the door with a copy of The Lorax was another.

After Iris and I finished reading The Lorax, cuddled together in bed, she grabbed the book and sat back up, scooting over and propping herself on the pillows. “Lorax gave me. He me no trees. I read.”

Her knees propping up her new treasure, straight from the hands of the Lorax himself, she read the story out loud, matching her memory to the pictures. “Dey broke the trees and broke the trees. Bigging bigging and bigging bigging. Oh no!”

I carefully laid next to her and asked if I could see the pictures while she read the story to me. When she was done, I asked her what the story is about. Iris is two years old, her birthday in late October. She closed the book, patted me on my shoulder, and very seriously informed me, “Mommy, you no break trees.”

“Iris, do you want to go see The Lorax at the movie theater this weekend? The real place with popcorn and drinks and candy? Where you sit and be quiet and the movie is huge?!” It will be her first movie at the movie theater.

She grabbed her tattered silky, kicked the covers away that I had tucked around her feet, and nodded, “I lub it, Mommy.” as she wiped her teary eyes and openly fought the urge to wipe her nose on her sleeve. Without further discussion, she gathered her toys from around us, tucked them under the covers at the foot of the tossled bed, crawled in with them and whispered in her serious voice, “You no break the trees. Um…. more Lorax! More bigger!”

 

“And then… and then… Oh no! You no break the trees, babies.”

• • •

A big thanks to Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax for sponsoring this campaign.
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Read more of Megan’s writing at VelveteenMind.com
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