Someday

You guys, I’m so tired. I’m trying to write and parent and exercise* and eat healthily and fit 28 hours into 24 while still getting enough sleep not to be a Monster Mom the next day. It’s not exactly “working.”

Perhaps this is why I was inspired to do a throwback review of sorts, on a little book that never fails to make me cry while reading it to my children. Which – and I don’t know what you think – maybe doesn’t make for the most relaxing, soothing story time. Who knows!

Someday, written by Alison McGhee and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds, was published all the way back in 2007 when I was still a twenty-something-on-the-trot, childless and carefree. Its whispery timeline unfolds as the reader witnesses the passage of time in a child’s life, as they grow up and grow old. It is simple and elegant – not much more than 240 words, total – but deceptively powerful in that simplicity.

This is such a quiet book, it might seem surprising it elicits such a strong emotional response. But what McGhee makes painfully, beautifully clear is how prominently little things shape the larger life. And parenting – in any capacity – puts this into sharp focus: Our babies grow into children, and we simultaneously revel in their independence and mourn their babyhood. This feeling of loss seems to continuously compound as we watch them weather adolescence and emerge into adulthood, coming ever closer to those years we can not be witness to. There is so much of our children’s lives we will never see.

I’ve heard parenthood described as “the long practice of letting go”. So, maybe that’s the gentle reminder I need right now. It won’t always feel this hectic, I won’t always feel this urgent desperation for time. Someday, it will all be different. Someday, my desperation will be for time passed, and days lost to memory – maybe even for the days I’m in now.

If you haven’t already, get this book and read it to the kids in your life. Then try not to cry – I dare you.

*(Thinking about trying to exercise doesn’t count, Katie.)

Someday by Alison McGhee, illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds. ©2007. Atheneum Books for Young Readers. 

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