Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss March 2, 2012

Courtesy: Dr Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden

I couldn’t let today go by without giving a shout-out to Dr. Seuss, who would have celebrated his 108th birthday today.

Dr. Seuss penned such children’s classics as The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, and The Lorax. His jaunty rhymes educated and entertained, and most of all, they encouraged children to read.

Dr. Seuss knew how to communicate with children. Maybe it was a natural talent or a thought-out method, but either way, he respected children and treated them as people.

I don’t know why Dr. Seuss and his wife didn’t have children of their own, and the reasons don’t really matter. But for anyone who says that it takes a parent to really understand children, I have two words: Dr. Seuss.


4 Responses to “Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss”

  1. sockela Says:

    though gone, the man continues to change the world… one rhyme at a time

  2. CiCi Says:

    I shall be copy & pasting those last two sentences straight to my fb page. So true indeed 🙂

  3. jeopardygirl Says:

    You bring up a great point, here. I just finished reading “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” by non-mom Lionel Shriver (she changed her name when she became an adult). Normally, her lack of motherhood status would be a moot point, since she’s written such a brilliant novel. However, in reading reviews, I found many reviewers pointed out her non-mom status as the reason her protagonist has such a distanced relationship with her son. One said that she wondered how different the book would have been if Shriver had children of her own. I was bothered by this quite a lot, because, as you have pointed out, Dr. Seuss was able to understand how to reach kids, and part of good writing is being able to use your imagination to bridge gaps from your experience to your characters. I wondered how many of the Shriver novel reviewers had truly paid attention to the protagonist’s relationship with her other child, one that was much more intimate and special.

    Stepping out of fiction, is it so hard to imagine that a non-mom can understand the difficulties and joys of being around children?

    • lmanterfield Says:

      I wrote a post a while ago about an actress who said that women who don’t have children can’t truly play mothers. Someone responded that an actor or actress doesn’t have to be a serial killer to play one convincingly. Part of the skill of being a talented writer (or actor) is to be able to get into the heads of people who aren’t like you. Apparently that doesn’t hold true for motherhood.

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