Slice of Life, Chapter One

(Note: I stumbled upon this Slice of Life Story Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers and I decided to venture forth. I’m not really sure what I need to be doing but that never stopped me before.)

My three year old sits on the left and the seven year old, on the right, and I am smack dab in the middle, with Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax open on my lap. The ten year old hovers, near enough to be part of the action but not right in the thick of it. The Lorax is a favorite of ours and today, I have brought out my digital voice recorder. I am trying to capture some of my sons’ voices in time, for memory’s sake, and I know the youngest loves to shout out “The Lorax” and “Brown Barbaloots” and other strange Seussian language.

We begin to read and the two youngest boys listen and join me like a chorus when prompted. The Lorax “speaks for the trees.” The Oncler is creating “gloppity glop.” We move through the story, snuggled close, and it reminds me of how special this kind of reading is and how connected a book can make us as a family. Even the older boy, still just beyond reach, is emotionally there with us. He remembers when it was just he and I reading this same book and he was the one shouting out “Swamee Swans” and “Truffula Trees” when given the chance. Is ten years old the age when they start pulling away? I hope not, I think, as the book continues to unfold.

At the end of the story, we pause, and the little one — three years old but wise beyond his years — makes the comment: “Where did all the Truffula Trees go? Why did they cut them down?”

Before I can answer, he comes up the answer: “For thneeds. Which nobody needs.”

The Lorax may never come back but he lives in our hearts at least.

Peace (in life),

PS — interested in The Lorax?

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  1. In Mexico years and years ago, I was driving through Mexico City with a friend. He was talking about something, pointing out various things for me to pay closer attention to … when I saw what looked for all the world like a Truffula Tree! I tried to get Jordy to understand my excitement and to tell me what tree we’d just passed. He had no idea what I was talking about. Dr. Suess? Truffula Trees? (… and I’m sure in his head he was thinking, “Ok, this American woman is just plain crazy.”) He couldn’t tell me the name of the tree because he hadn’t even noticed it. I tried to describe it to another friend, still nothing. So maybe it was a Truffula hallucination? A few years later, I was back in Mexico, driving around with a different friend, a friend who always seems to know the answer to all my loopy questions, so I tried to describe what I’d seen on that first trip … and she knew exactly what tree I was talking about (and knew what Truffula trees were!) and immediately drove me to a park where there were several of them at the park entrance.

    Oh dear … sadly, it’s too many years ago, and as I typed I realized that I no longer remember the name of the tree! Trust me, though, it definitely looks like a Truffula. The Lorax has always been one of my favorite books. Thanks for this SOL story and a reminder not only of the book, but of my Mexico trips!

  2. It’s great to be on another writing adventure (and I invite you into my Day in a Sentence project, too — see last post).
    The Mexico story is funny and I would love to see a real truffula tree. I wonder if the ones you saw were what inspired Seuss?

  3. Kevin,
    I’m glad you’re joining us. I felt like I was in the room with you & your boys. I’ve often attempted to capture the cozy feeling of reading to my son . . . I’m sure one of my next 30 entries will be on this slice of my life. I’m looking forward to reading more of your Slices of Life. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Loved the piece. I could feel the longing when you talked about the 10-year-old and pulling away. Hoping that’s not the case. Ten is much too young. 30 is much too young. 😉

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  6. The Lorax Memories are flooding back already. My son is a Dr. Suess fanatic (at 5 years old mind you). He’s memorized almost every story and very much like your 3 year old asks questions even an adult would find hard to ask. And, of course, he finds a Dr. Seuss response as well. I, too, must learn to remember, and/or record these memories. I would hate to lose them.

  7. Kevin,
    What a great slice of life. Your post catches the excitement and bittersweet pleasure of watching them grow up and change. Thank you for sharing how your boys love reading!

  8. OMG! Your kiddos were three and seven-years-old when you wrote this. My how time has flown!
    Thanks for emailing this to me today. It made my day!

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