(image taken from Time Out New York Kids)
(image taken from Geek Tyrant)
As is to be expected with the passing of a beloved and celebrated author, particularly an author for children, where there is nearly always an aura of nostalgia for something beautiful and transient that forever hugs the body and the mind in an invisible cloak, the death of respected and revered and admired Maurice Sendak has been an amalgamation of blissful remembrance and honoring of his work with mourning. Almost all children of my generation, as well as those from before and those since, have fond memories of the story Where the Wild Things Are: a tale of imagination and of confronting our fears, our challenges, our triumphs. His life was long and full; he will be immensely missed, but, never forgotten.
In the abrupt transition from university to the adult, where I moved to a new state and accepted a robust position of responsibility at a small firm, there was little time to relish as a fledgling, test the proverbial wings before taking flight, without looking down and sometimes without even looking out to the horizon, or so it so often appears. With the birth of my niece, as trite as this sounds, I have come to this harsh realization: in many ways, I have allowed myself to become that very adult I had sworn and had promised so vehemently I would never even meet or associate with. An adult whose predominant concerns include deadlines and timelines, teleconference calls, status meetings, deliverables, metrics. Profitability. Efficiency. An adult whose notion of a wild rumpus resides somewhere in the deep and dark neural recesses, rather than prominently in the lifestyle, a regular and not unexpected course of the day. A wrinkle or crease in a freshly pressed silk blouse has become, on some days, the extent of free and coarse and unbridled revelry. I had promised myself, while still young, that I would never allow myself to lose the magic imagination of childhood, the whimsical and hapless and fearless approach to barriers and impediments; this promise was made in a not too distant past, and yet, it already seems remote and foolish. In short, I am disappointed in myself.
While I do not want to forgo any ambition or determination, or sense of pride and accomplishment in this professional realm into which I have inserted a part of myself, I want to continually remind myself that it is, indeed, just that: a single part, a portion, of a whole, a whole woman and a whole life of experiences. My thoughts and dreams and goals and perceptions as a little girl are no less valid now; they are still present and still should inform my being. This little girl should be, at times, released, permitted to roam and to stretch and to run free with the wild things of her imagination.
Watching Winona grow larger with each visit, more animated and expressive, more beautiful, in a way I could never before even fathom was possible, is the most fascinating spectacle of nature and humanity and unknown, unseen forces. Reading aloud is our favorite activity together; her eyes wide gazing at the images, listening to the topography of the words. There are a number of classic children's works that I would love to add to her growing library; I cannot wait to continue to share the world of words with her, a world beyond present physical reality, a world wonderful, a world wild.