Maurice Sendak: A Different Read As A Parent

 I have discovered more from reading Maurice Sendak’s books as a parent than I ever did as a young child.  Where the Wild Things Are forces me to remember all of the times where my children have disappeared into a fantasy world only to completely lose judgment.   At eight, my eldest played T-Rex with such sublimation of character that he bit a young herbivore, ahem, eight year old girl.  His roots of mischief were revealed much earlier in life, though, when he and his then two year old brother constructed a detailed network of train tracks – with shampoo, hair gel and nail polish – all over the wall, cabinets and tiled floor of our newly added bathroom.  Sendak’s tender illustrations of the Little Bear series have helped me see deeply into my six year old daughter’s thoughts.  There is not one moment of personification; every stuffed animal, every doll is very real in the mind of a little girl.  As my little girl applies a bandage to care for her doll, I can see Emily, Little Bear’s friend, putting her head down to her doll Lucy and listening for a small voice.  I hope to remember to ask my children, when they become parents, what they see in Sendak’s pages.