One of the greatest bonds my mom and I share is that of a love for children’s literature. She read to my sister and I at an early age and I fondly recall stories that included such characters as Winnie the Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore from The House at Pooh Corner (1928), Charlotte and Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web, and Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Three great children’s authors are listed right there; A.A. Milne, E.B. White, and Roald Dahl, respectively . I still, in my 50’s, read children’s literature.
I credit my mom with my love for words, language, and writing. She has had similar affinity for these same subjects over her life. As a third grade teacher for much of her career, she immersed her classes in the world of literature by reading the above texts aloud, as well as countless others. We both took Latin and both have a command of the English language exhibited through rather large vocabularies. Or, did. Right now, my thoughts include the following:
I see your decline,
loss of capacity,
and onset of repetitive thought.
I ache for the loss of who you were,
even though you don’t know who I have become.
Nature soothes some of my soul,
although we never shared this love.
Words and memories will soothe the rest of it.
While walking near her home this week, I saw oak trees filled with acorns and all I could think of was Piglet telling Pooh Bear that he was planting a haycorn. I told my husband. He laughed but did not realize the connection to the story in the same context – a mother reading to her daughters and a mother (me) reading to her sons.
A House at Pooh Corner (1928).
“I’m planting a haycorn, Pooh, so that it can grow up into an oak-tree, and have lots of haycorns just outside the front door instead of having to walk miles and miles, do you see, Pooh?” – The House at Pooh Corner, 1928.
I don’t think I’ll ever look at acorns in the same way again.