tears at bedtime… all because of a book

Last night, Miss L and I read “The Lorax” before going to sleep. It wasn’t the first time we’ve read the book together, nor the 5th or 10th time since she got in last November. But it was the first time she cried while we read it.

“And at that very moment, we heard a loud whack!
From outside in the fields came a sickening smack
of an axe on a tree. Then we heard the tree fall.
The very last Truffula Tree of them all!”

The biggest drip drop of a tear came out of her left eye and hit me on my elbow. I looked over and saw her face stuck in a frown and more tears were welling up.

It took us a minute to get through the sad pages and pictures of blackened grickle-grass, before the hopefulness appeared again.

“UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It’s not.”

We talked about how good people can care a lot and make a difference. And how she could take care of the animals and keep the water and air clean as well. And she said that when she grew up, she’d like to be the Lorax, but for now, she’s just a L. And I felt a strong duty to make sure that she could accomplish that task, and be a good citizen of our lovely planet.

When I put the book back on the shelf, I thought about how a moment this weekend when all of the guests at a wedding had teared up this past weekend when the sister of the groom quoted Dr. Suess in her loving speech. And then I thought about all of the Suessisms floating around right now due to graduation season and the proliferation of “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”

And I thought about just how much better our lives might be if we kept reading Dr. Suess daily as adults, and took his philosophy to heart.

Luckily I get the excuse to do it right now without even thinking about it. And I’ll take a little bit more of it to heart from now on…