Saturday, March 5, 2016

Youer than You

This week in classrooms all over the land, children were celebrating the life and legacy of Theodor Seuss Geisel or the beloved, Dr. Seuss, that we all know.

On March 2nd, he would have turned 112 years old.

It's hard for me to imagine that gazads of years ago, he had the foresight, creativity and courage to write and illustrate stories of inclusivity, acceptance and individuality long before it was acceptable to honor those who are different from us.

My 5-year old daughter, Claire's preschool classroom took the entire week to celebrate reading a different Seuss masterpiece each day.  The inspiration of stories, prompted us to read one of our favorites at home..."Happy Birthday to You!"  As the bird of the story celebrates who he is, the narrator proclaims...

To which, my Claire inquired, "What does it mean to be youer than you?"  A bit tongue tied, I tried my best to describe that God only made one of each of us and that there are no other Claires on the earth even remotely resembling who she is.  And then I asked, "What does it mean to be Claire...the Claire that you are?"  She sat and thought for what felt like a really long time.  Resisting the urge to describe her, I waited.  Finally, she leaned into me and said, "I am a singer.  That's my gift.  I'm yellow.  I mean my skin and my hair are kinda yellow brown.  I am fun.  Like, I like to do this (she wiggled her eye brows up and down with a 'How you doin?' expression).  And, I'm a really kind sister and I love God."

This is exactly what it means to be youer than you, I encouraged.  You don't have to try to be something you're not.  You can be exactly who you fact, be more of it in the world...sing more, grow more yellow, be kind to all you meet and keep loving your siblings and God.  In a nutshell, let the world get the best of you.

In the midst of the insanity that was Super Tuesday and another ridiculous round of the Republican debates...I resisted the urge to share my favorite Dr. Seuss quote with my sweet daughter...even if it is a tad modified from the original version.

But all the same, it's exactly how I feel about the youness of certain candidates...nonetheless, I suppose we're all entitled to be youer than you.

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