About six months ago, I chose Puff the Magic Dragon as one of Big’s bedtime stories. I’d love to say it was because I was feeling deeply emotional (or can hold a tune), but in reality it was the shortest book within reach and I was more tired than he was (I would also love to say this is unusual…).
What was sure to be a quick read turned into a fit of tears. Big came undone.
Why would Little Jackie Paper not come back? Why would a big boy not love his best friend and toys any more? Why did he have to grow up and change? All valid questions and I could barely keep my own composure as I rocked and comforted my sweet, sensitive boy.
Well, I’ve avoided the book since then, but tonight it was on the floor. I grabbed it thinking Big had made peace with Jackie. (Why I didn’t assume Little, aka DestructoBaby, randomly grabbed it off the shelf and flung it across the room just proves how tired I am). We got through the whole book—thanks to Big’s giggling at my attempts to sing the story—but within seconds of closing the book, he was in another fit of tears begging me to sleep on the floor in his room.
Big’s emotional reaction to this story is heart breaking and heart warming at the same time. Being on the sensitive side myself, I just want to wrap him up in my mama cocoon and protect him from feeling sadness and loss. On the other hand, it’s amazing to me that at 4 years old he’s so dialed in to the sentiment of the story, and not just swept up in the tune.
All I know is that I want my “big boy” to be a little boy for as long as he can be. Because some day, instead of feeling like it’s too soon to grow up, he’ll be feeling like it can’t happen fast enough. And when that day comes, the tears will be all mine.
This post is too much for me. It all happens too fast, I can’t stand it. This is beautiful, Amy.
Aww, thanks. I love seeing all the fun things you’re doing to cherish these precious moments. They certainly are too fleeting…
so sweet 🙂
Kristin B says
HI Amy, Love this article! I took my Ava to see Toy Story 3 and towards the end of the movie when things got a little scary, she burst into tears and made me get up and leave the theater. Besides being slightly embarrassing I was also touched that she was so upset for the poor toys. Unfortunately she did not get to see the end of the movie, but your story reminded me of my own experience. All she wanted to do was be comforted and go home and play with her own toys. I only wish they could stay little forever!
What a sweet little girl you’ve raised. And, honestly, you’re actually lucky you had to leave before the end of Toy Story 3. It was so similar to this…all about growing up and letting go. I was crying my eyes out…as were the other parents around me. Enjoy the little moments!
Amy…You’ll hold onto these precious times forever. Thanks for sharing!
Christy @morethanmommy says
We have that version of the book. Honestly, I can’t read it without dissolving in tears. The song never really bothered me, but somehow seeing it all written down is too much. My son (also 4) was also very concerned by the loss of the friendship. We’ve got sensitive souls…
I hear you, Christy. I think our sensitive souls have sensitive moms too!
We have this book too. I forgot about the sad aspect of the story when I got it, I got distracted with the great illustrations. I think the saving grace of this book is that Puff has a new friend, and Jackie comes back for a visit. Otherwise, wow, who wants to read this one more than once. I spend a lot of time on the last page talking about Puff’s new friend, giving her a name, and Jackie coming back to visit. Seems to me the original story/song is really an adult song, content wise.
The illustrations are gorgeous. It’s one of my favorite books to look at…if only it weren’t so heart wrenching!