One of the things I find so special and endearing about my son is he is so compassionate. That compassion runs from people to objects, but especially feelings.
Today, while he was finishing up On the Banks of Plum Creek, he burst into tears. Tears were pouring down his cheeks! I asked him what on earth was the matter. He was furious at Ma. It seems Ma made Laura give away Charlotte, Laura's beloved rag doll.
Immediately I sped back 30 years into the mid 70s, sitting on our green couch with my toes just barely touching the (ugly) green shag carpeting. There I sat bawling. Why? Because Ma made Laura give away Charlotte, Laura's beloved rag doll.
Like mother like son.
Thomas kept saying: She had no right, she had no right! What a bad parent. I told him I agreed that it was a bad decision. We discussed manners of their day, manners of our day, and why Ma did what she did. I also took his book and showed him that she apologized because she hadn't realized Charlotte meant so much to Laura. I explained that she was human and subject to err -- as we all are. I explained that I was just as horrified at what she did when I was a child (and even today!) as he was. We also discussed how it worked out in the end.
Oh, but to be forced to give away that one something special.
My special something when I was a child was a yellow Baby Beans doll. Her name was Jody Ann. (What was I thinking with that name?) After reading the above-mentioned passage, I remember hugging her tight and hoping my mom would never give her away or put her in one of her garage sales like she did so many of my toys. She didn't. Jody Ann is still in my household today. There's a picture of a doll just like Jody Ann here at the very bottom.
Thomas's special thing is a black and white Playskool puppy. He got it for Easter before he turned one and it has been with him ever since. It's been to every state Thomas has. Thomas even took it to South Carolina last fall. Although the puppy is not the constant companion it once was, "puppy" will always be a part of our home. It's his one something special.
Thomas related to Laura giving up Charlotte. To him, it would have been like giving up his puppy. To me, it would have been like giving up Jody Ann.
Thomas ended up finishing the book today after I got him calmed down. Let me just say, though, that his dad got an ear full at the dinner table about Ma's poor choice.
I wonder how many children over time that bothered. ;-)
Thomas isn't spoiled, stingy or selfish. He shares, gives things away that surprise me -- it's just that he related to the specialness of Charlotte.