Friday, April 09, 2010

Charlotte's Web

When Andrew was born, I wanted to find some way to preserve some special time with William that would be just William-and-Mommy time. I didn't want William to feel like I no longer had time just for him, or that he'd been replaced. It's hard to be the big sibling when everyone's all excited about the new baby, as I well remember from becoming a big sister at about the same age that William is now, and I wanted to be sensitive to his feelings.

So finally I hit on an idea. I took him to the bookstore and bought a copy of "Charlotte's Web." I told him that we'd read a chapter or two together every night before bedtime. It's supposed to be our time together. Occasionally, however, Andrew has intruded, but William has been very gracious about it. We've ended up all curled up on William's bed, with me nursing the baby and the book propped up between us.

We didn't have time to read a chapter last night, so I volunteered to read one this afternoon before naptime (naptime is no longer a regular deal in our house, either, just so you know, but William needed one today, so I insisted). Well! I don't know if it's leftover postpartum hormones, the side effects of general exhaustion or if I'm just becoming a sentimental fool in my old age, but I just barely made it through reading the chapter when Charlotte dies. I knew it was coming, and as I began reading that last paragraph about how she died after the fairgrounds were deserted and Wilbur had gone home to the barn cellar with her little sac of baby spider eggs, my voice began to wobble. My eyes teared up, and I gamely finished reading about how no one was with Charlotte when she died. Gah. I don't remember that part ever fazing me like that before. And yet, there I was, sniffling over it.

Hormones? The extra-sensitivity that motherhood brings along? Probably a little of both. I'm not a big crier, as a general rule, but sometimes I find myself getting choked up over the oddest little things. And the death scene in "Charlotte's Web" can hardly even be considered odd. It IS sad. Even William seemed sad as I tucked him into his little bed for his nap. I think he was more sad over the whole fact that she died, and there I was, feeling sad because she died all alone and never got to meet her own children. Ack. Now I'm tearing up again.

I think I'm going to go love on Andrew for a little while. Maybe he needs feeding or something.


Holly said...

I remember getting so impatient with my mother when she cried at the end of Charlotte's Web. And Watership Down. And probably other books I don't remember. Now I don't think I could even BEGIN reading CW without getting teary, just knowing what's coming.

DrDrama said...

Charlotte's Web is still one of my favorite books. I was six years old when I read for the first time and I realized that book s could make you cry.

themsrevolution said...

this is such a good idea. i cannot wait until my 3yo is old enough for us to read chapter books together. charlotte's web would be the perfect entry point.