Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Friends

We're in the midst of finishing up some of our literature readings. As I'm reading to my third kindergartner Phoebe, I can't help feeling a twinge of sadness mixed with gladness. Glad that I have one more child to read these books to when Harrison enters Kindergarten. Sad that I only have one more child to read these books to!! You really can't stop time. 

Last week was a tough one. We said goodbye to Pooh and Christopher Robin: 
Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hands called out, "Pooh!"
"Yes?" said Pooh.
"When I'm - when - Pooh!"
"Yes, Christopher Robin?"
"I'm not going to do Nothing any more."
"Never again?"
"Well, not so much. They don't let you."
"Pooh, when I'm - you know - when I'm not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?"
"Just Me?"
"Yes, Pooh."
"Will you be here too?"
"Yes, Pooh, I will be, really. I promise I will be, Pooh."
"That's good," said Pooh.
"Pooh, promise you won't forget about me, ever. Not even when I'm a hundred."
"Pooh," said Christopher Robin earnestly, "if I - if I'm not quite -" he stopped and tried again - "Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won't you?"
"Understand what?"
"Oh, nothing." He laughed and jumped to his feet. "Come on!"
"Where?" said Pooh.
"Anywhere," said Christopher Robin. *

Whew. That is tough to read out loud. I can't do it without the tears flowing. And of course your voice changes when you're crying so it all sounds kind of strained and high. But I do love those books.

We also said goodbye to Robin Hood:
"Little John," said he, "Little John, mine own dear friend, and him I love better than all others in the world, mark, I prythee, where this arrow lodges, and there let my grave be digged. Lay me with my face toward the east, Little John, and see that my resting-place be kept green, and that my weary bones be not disturbed." 
As he finished speaking, he raised himself of a sudden and sat upright. His old strength seemed to come back to him, and, drawing the bowstring to his ear, he sped the arrow out of the open casement. As the shaft flew, his hand sank slowly with the bow till it lay across his knees, and his body likewise sank back again into Little John's loving arms; but something had sped from that body, even as the winged arrow sped from the bow. **

There are about two pages at the end of that book that I can't get through without crying also. It surprised me when I read it for the first time to my oldest. I didn't know Robin Hood would die. I didn't expect it.

And so we come to the end and say goodbye to our newfound friends. These kinds of books my kids come back to again and again. I don't know if I'll ever pick up Winnie the Pooh to read all on my own, so I hope there will always be children in my life for me to read them to. My kids aren't the only ones who miss these friendships.

*"The House at Pooh Corner" by AA Milne
**"The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood" by Howard Pyle


  1. I know what you mean. You can always go back and visit, but that first time around is precious stuff.