A medley of ‘Let It Go’, ‘Happy Birthday’ and ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ emanates from my youngest’s bedroom, whilst my eldest lays silent in slumber. Another day begins. I know that the ensuing hour will be crammed with the same calls of ‘BREAKFAST!’, ‘TEETH!’, ‘SHOES!’ and ‘COATS!’ as every other school run morning, but should I actually stop to take a moment out of the rush that is getting a three and six year old out of the house by 8.10am (an achievement which quite frankly deserves recognition of the highest accolade in my humble opinion), I would allow my thoughts to drift to the possibilities of what this day could hold for both myself and for my children. Will it bring new ventures? Will it bring new opportunities? Will it bring new accomplishments?
What lies ahead, I feel, is two-fold. It is fused with what could be seen as sheer luck and with the kind of luck that one makes for oneself. I firmly believe that some things simply happen at the ‘right time’ and others only occur due to the effort that we put in. I guess it is just as Winnie the Pooh once said: “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” What a wise bear! Or should that be ‘What a wise Mr Milne?’
It seems that Winnie the Pooh isn’t the only bear in children’s literature to have had an impact upon me. David Litchfield’s ‘The Bear and the Piano’ has become one of my favourite children’s picture books for so many reasons.
Firstly, it’s about a bear and let’s face it, who doesn’t love a story about a bear? Secondly, it’s also about…you guessed it…a piano! However, this book delves deeper in its story than simply placing a bear (dressed in the finest tuxedo I might add) in front of a piano. It touches upon the wonder and reality of a new beginning, of following a dream. I can relate to this tuxedo clad bear sat in front of his instrument, and not just because I would like to play the piano in the heart of a forest, as I am sure that such an experience would be rather super indeed, but because I am also following my personal dream of being a children’s picture book author and illustrator, for always. As the bear gets absorbed in creating the beautiful melodies which are seen to entertain all that hear them, I too become absorbed in the stories and characters which I create. It would be wonderful to think that children are just as captivated by my books as the bear’s audiences are by his musical talent.
If I could sit down and share a cup of honey-infused tea with this fabulous creature, I would be sure to tell him just how much I admire his determination to do what he loves and to not necessarily feel that he has to do whatever is expected from the bear community! This notion of pursuing a path which is filled with what we love to do is one that I hope to instill into my own little people.
Should I ever be headlining author and illustrator events (hmmm…well, if you don’t have a dream and all that), I shall be sure to take a leaf out of David Litchfield’s book (not literally of course…I can’t BEAR to see books being mistreated – sorry for that terrible attempt at a pun). Bear does not let go of what is important to him and returns to the forest to play the piano for his fellow bears. He kept those who were dear to him in his heart.
As for those who are important and held dear in my heart, I shall now concentrate on getting them out of the house. However, before that front door can be opened I shall ensure that I have repeated myself many times, not because I like the sound of my own voice but because there must clearly be some kind of malfunction in airwave frequency between myself and my children’s ears. I shall also clear up a multitude of food items from the floor, including some that may have been woefully sat there since the day before. I am sure that Cheerios breed and multiply when I am not looking! Finally, I shall look frantically in each room for my eldest’s water bottle to eventually realise that it has been left in the car!
It is almost time to go. It is almost time to start a new day. It is almost time to see what is going to happen. It is almost time to try to make things happen. Let’s fill this day, as much as possible, with the things that we love to do.