Dear Dr. Seuss,
Your writing has impacted my life in a way I never would have guessed. It started off with the expected, Hop on Pop, Green Eggs and Ham, and Fox in Socks. These books imparted an “I can read!” encouragement, excitement, and expectation. As a little girl, I saw you as my hero fighting for the cause of the unborn (Horton Hears a Who) and fighting for the cause of trees (The Lorax).
But your reach, Dr. Seuss, has gone far beyond the expected. In fact, you continue to surprise me, encourage me, challenge me, and provide me with tools to live my life today as an adult in a confusing world. You simplify things for me. You demystify. You make me laugh at the absurdity that exists in my own life. Is that why you are so brilliant? I found myself enjoying Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose on the same level I have savored Jane Austen’s handling of unwelcomed guests. I have often closed your books in a similar way that I have often left Tolstoy – overcome with how well my own thought-process was understood, expressed, and justified in the eyes of a character (oftentimes an unsettling discovery!).
And now, as a woman who has journeyed through the jungle of bulimia, I have found my story woven throughout yours. My children remain unaware of my repressed tears as I read aloud Horton Hatches the Egg. A perfectly faithful father who is never too busy, too distracted, too overwhelmed, too stressed, too anything, to be 100% faithful. “Because Horton was faithful! He sat and he sat!”…Horton was faithful 100%. Horton’s faithfulness won in the end, and I must insert my favorite line, “and it should be it should be it should be like that.” My emotions never fail to rise when I read those words, for, every time, I see the faithfulness of Jesus. I was unfaithful, 100%. And yet, the faithfulness of Jesus is applied to me 100%. And “it shouldn’t be, it shouldn’t be, it shouldn’t be like that.” BUT…it is. Hallelujah
This word “faithful” that you have used in Horton Hatches the Egg, brings me back to my first Christmas after my release from purging. It brings me back to that first time I sang the words to “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” I have never more wonderously celebrated those words as that Christmas. I could come “joyful and triumphant.” I could come proclaimed as a “faithful one” because of the faithfulness of Jesus. I could come and adore Christ the Lord because He – He Himself – had come as a baby to Bethlemham. He had come to live a perfectly, 100% faithful life, and then lay down His life for me. And in Him I am found spotless and blameless. Because Jesus was faithful 100%.
Thank you, Dr. Seuss, for continuing to be a part of my life. There has been no season of my life that you have not touched, from a first-time reader, to a young woman racked by bulimia, and now to a mom of four crazy, little ones. From the first to the last, you’ve recorded my past. I praise God for your faithfulness to your calling as a writer. I praise God for your faithfulness to writing children’s literature. I praise God that I have found the Gospel in your stories. Horton has provided me with yet another opportunity to rejoice in the perfect faithfulness of The One. And for this, I will be forever and ever grateful.
Your adoring life-long reader,
Because He is faithful,
P.S. Here are each of my children’s current favorites at the moment!
Aletheia (8 years) – Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose
Haddie (6 years) – Horton Hatches the Egg
Hudson (3 3/4 yrs.) – The Cat in the Hat
Kuyper (21 months) – Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?