Today I’m thinking a lot about perspective. I’ve spent a lot of time in the last year worrying that this time of constant uprooting in our lives is detrimental, both to the kids and to me. My husband- meh, he’s always been a free soul, I think if he moved every year for the rest of his life, he’d be perfectly content. Even if he were to find some sort of utopia, something inside him would turn his head toward the other side of the fence. But me, I like to be rooted. My father and his wife still live in the house I was born in; I was raised in utter consistency. My kids, they’ve lived in Montana, Hawaii, now Michigan, and I don’t even know that this is permanent. Certainly the schoolhouse isn’t. The whole idea stresses me out.
But then I think about the fact that these kids have had advantages in these moves, too. Seeing and living in different parts of the country, learning what there has been to offer in the mountains, the tropics, and now the Great Lakes. Maybe it’s not such a bad thing. They know saltwater and freshwater and glacial-fed rivers. They know four different seasons and also island time. I’d like to stop punishing myself for failing to provide them the stability of place that I’d planned for their lives. Because there have been benefits as well, it just depends on how you look at it.
Perspective. It’s what today’s book is about: Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
Amy Krouse Rosenthal has written some thoughtfully creative children’s books where the main character is a piece of cutlery, a punctuation mark, a vegetable, and many, many more. I’ve written about Sugar Cookies and we’ve gotten a few more of hers from the library. Seriously, she has a prolific list of work and several have been collaborations with illustrator Tom Lichtenheld, of Cloudette fame.
In this book, the main illustration stays the same throughout the book. Depending on how you look at it, it’s a rabbit or a duck. Two unseen voices debate from one page to the next whether it’s one or the other.
Their repartee is friendly and funny. They discuss whether the the animal in question is eating carrots or bread, whether it’s quacking or sniffing, wading in a swamp or hiding in the grass.
Finally, just as each has decided that the other could possibly be right, the duck/rabbit disappears. In its place is a new ambiguous animal…
I like how willing each was at the end to change their point of view. That’s what I need to remember when I start getting down on myself. Regardless of where we are, we love and are loved. Maybe home isn’t one place for our whole lives, maybe it’s just wherever we are. Which reminds me of one of my favorite songs…