Wednesday, August 24, 2011
THE KISSING HAND: THE SEQUEL
Back to school means time to read "The Kissing Hand" that adorable story about Chester the raccoon who is scared to go to kindergarten until his mom gives him a special kiss on his palm to help him know she's thinking of him while he's at school.
It's a tear-jerker but I read it every year to each of my three kids the night before school. Except last night. I forgot my teens would be out until late and as they got home after I was already asleep I did not get to read it to them.
Which is why I was following my high-school senior around the kitchen this morning as he got his breakfast, reading aloud and trying not to cry as he tried not roll is eyes and laugh. I was doing fine but then I started thinking all of my friends who just took their freshmen kids to college--Ann who flew Olivia to TCU and Bridgette who is driving Billy to GVSU and Coop who took Nicholas to Clemson and Martha who drove Rachel to Miszou--and knowing I'm just a short year away from it all I started to cry a little.
As I angrily brushed tears away with the back of my hand I muttered, "I don't know why we all had you kids; all you do is grow up and leave us." And then I had to laugh and say, "Which I suppose is preferable to the alternative; that you grow up and don't leave us."
Lilly liked this idea and suggested a sequel to "The Kissing Hand" in which Chester moves back home after college and his mom pleads with him, "Please, I know we all have to do things that are scary but you'll be fine once you get an apartment of your own" just as she did when he was going off to kindergarten. Chester could be wearing boxers over his little ringed tail and scratch his belly and say, "But mommy, I don't want to leave you and the laundry you do for me and the meals you make!"
I don't know if the sequel would help any of us but it might be worth a chuckle.
To all of you having to say goodbye this month, my thoughts and tears are with you.
I'll be right there with you next year when my own raccoon leaves the nest.