Thursday, September 24, 2009
Today I read this to my son's class for read to succeed day. Now normally, I love Dr. Suess. But the bird in the story leaves her egg in the care of Horton who makes a commitment to sit on the egg no matter what and he means it 100 percent. Now I like the moral of the story that hard work and commitment pay off. But seriously, the mother bird goes off on vacation and decided to stay because raising her egg is too hard? Seriously? Then when she comes upon Horton and the egg hatches she wants it back. Now, I get the book is about Horton's dedication and that that pays off. The baby ends up looking like Horton and everyone is happy. But really what kind of message is it, that a mother bird would leave her baby cause it is too hard.
We have all felt the weight of motherhood and all it puts upon us. Yet, there is nothing in this world that would keep me from being there for my children, even when it's hard. I do get the story isn't about that, but when I read that part of the story aloud, my heart near about jumped from my chest in horror. Horton's adventures teach good moral lessons, like a person is a person no matter how small. This story is a good story. But my heart is troubled by the hidden message given by the mother bird. Seems to say that some mothers deem it too hard to be a mom and don't want anything to do with the child until all the work is done. I guess you do see that in real life. However, love, the message of true love was not shown. Horton I guess in a manner showed love, but it was more about his dedication. He sacrificed a lot to keep the bird safe, but it was out of duty more than love.
Don't get me wrong. I do like the story. The message about hard work and dedication in the face of adversity is a good one. However, should we not do those things not out of duty but out of love In the end Horton wants the bird too, but because of the hard work he put into it, and not necessarily because he loved the baby bird.
We must have dedication and commitment but without love we have nothing. I never knew a child's story book could put me in such a contemplative mood.
I think I like Horton hears a who better. He takes care of the Who's because he cares and believes a person is a person no matter how small. Despite the mayor not believing him, he perseveres and saves the Who's. The Mayor learns too. But in this story about the egg.....something is missing. I guess I should have read it before I read it to the kids. BUT...it was Horton...Dr. Suess....I thought surely nothing would be wrong with the book. I guess there wasn't per se, but it just troubled me about the mother's attitude and how it was presented in such a nonchalant way. The kids gasped and said "that's not nice" when I read that part. But they were happy with the ending. Still am I weird that this bothered me? LOL
Posted by Thelma Strobl at 9:50 AM