We bought the book right before Isaac was born. We searched the bookstore shelves, found it and lovingly read through the pages once again. We approached the checkout with the book and my protruding tummy. There was no doubt who this book was for. The girl at the counter smiled and offered her congratulations.
We hurried home. I put the book on the kitchen table. The words of this children's book were so wonderful. They would comfort my child with their rhythmic pulse as a baby and would inspire the child's dreams as he or she pursued any endeavor throughout life.
I let my eyes ingest the title, Oh, the Places You'll Go. I read the title again as I rested my hand on my abdomen. I smiled that sweet contented smile of motherhood. I'm sure I was beautiful at that moment...I hope I was. I was awash with excitement and wonder. I opened the book, found my place inside the front cover, and wrote to my unborn child....to Isaac Asher...my Happy Laughter...
"Isaac, Your Dad and I got you this book knowing that you will go far and experience many successes...We will be with you as you achieve...we will be proud of you...
We will also be there with love and support as you fail and try again. We love you and always will...
No matter what.
With all our love Sweet Isaac...
Mom and Daddy"
I stumbled upon the book and the inscription by accident this afternoon. I had forgotten the note was there. Isaac is almost 16 now and I remember that young mother eagerly awaiting her young child, delicately writing, passionately promising....and I sigh. I am so glad I didn't know what was to come. That sweet young mother to be would not have known how to process the realities of the future. I still don't know. I look back and see innocence. I look at myself now and am ashamed at how thick skinned I have become.
I read Seuss's story now. It takes on a whole different meaning- a whole different set of meanings for Isaac and for me.
I'm taking these moments now and reading back over the pages. I see flashes of our journey together thus far. That young mama who wrote the note to Isaac had no way of knowing that the pages she thought were full of wisdom for her child...were really meant for her.
It takes on a whole different meaning now. I cringe at the pages that openly describe the struggles, the heartache, the fear....Who knew Dr. Seuss could be this foreboding? I stumble through the pages battling sadness and despondency...until the promise on the last page...
It is the answer to my daily heart cry of will I make it through this sometimes very dark and mixed up maze....
"And will you succeed?
Yes? You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!"
Opps...one more page. An admonition to go along with the promise...words to spur action...words to push this mama through.
"...you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!"
OK. Here I go. Moment by moment and step by step. Off to conquer my mountain. What about you?