Now that my grandkids are beginning to read real books, I’ve introduced them to Shel Silverstein. If you haven’t read his poems, stop reading this and go read them now!* His way of saying things just resonates with kids, while at the same time gives hope and inspiration to each generation that reads them.
My kids and I have our favorites, and Shoshi even knows the page numbers of her favorites. Then again, we used these poems to give her some positive messages as she grew up. In fact, I printed one poem on poster sized paper, laminated it and hung it in the bathroom across from the toilet so that she would read it multiple times a day.
I bet you are asking, “What poem was so important?” It was Listen to the Mustn’ts. The majority of this short poem was about listening to the mustn’ts, don’ts, shouldn’ts, impossibles, won’ts and never haves. It would seem that it is leading the reader down the path of failure. And then the truth comes out. “Anything can happen, child, ANYTHING can be.”
This moment of truth was a guiding light for my budding intuitive. She knew the truth that she felt but was often told that what she felt was wrong. For example, at three she asked if we (her parents) were getting a divorce. The answer was no. We didn’t fight or argue. We were just busy with life. It wasn’t until she was 14 that we split up. She knew the truth long before we did.
This poem was all about reminding her that what she felt was important and just because other people didn’t agree with her didn’t make her wrong. This was an important message. In fact, she just met with another intuitive who reinforced that she can feel the truths that others ignore.
My advice to her is to say things in a way that other people can hear her message. As a child, she lashed out. As an adult, she is more diplomatic. Although her friends know that if they ask for her opinion, she will always say it as she sees and feels it. And they value this about her.
I hope to share this message with my grandkids. We opened one of Silverstein’s books during our last visit. They are coming for another visit this weekend and we are all looking forward to snuggling on the sofa and reading together.
It would be wonderful if we all could know that anything is possible, and anything can be.
*While researching about Shel Silverstein, I realized that he is much more diverse than I ever knew. Besides writing poems, he is a cartoonist, a playwright, a song writer, and more (for both adults and children).