This little piggie went to market.
The other little piggies stayed home and watched SportsCenter.
This little piggie had pork chops.
The other little piggies had some, too, because I am a nice person and couldn't eat an entire platter of meat and potatoes by myself.
But then I made them watch Chopped instead.
It was late at night as we left the outskirts of LA, heading back up to school after a road trip. The long length of Highway 5 stretched before us, and the headlights of a line of massive trucks loomed in our rear view mirror. In the way of close college girlfriends, we were drinking Big Gulps and talking about everything and nothing at once. The two of us in the front seat were keeping each other awake, and we thought the rest of the crew was asleep in the back. Suddenly, we hear a voice from the dark.
"I can't wait to have kids, so we can play games and I can beat them."
After turning around and staring at our friend for a minute, we drove on*.
Needless to say, this is not why I wanted to have kids**.
I did it for the books.
For Winnie the Pooh.
For Goodnight Moon.
For The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
For Curious George.
For The Snowy Day.
For Green Eggs and Ham.
For the Little Mouse and the Red, Ripe Strawberry.
For Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
For The Phantom Tollbooth.
For the Wild Things.
Night after night, as I sat on the floor, turning pages and making growling noises and jumping the monsters up and down, pretending to be terrified of the ghoul in the dark dark room, doing silly voices, hearing my son yell "QUIET DOWN THERE!" with all his might, or my daughter whisper, "Happy once, happy twice, happy chicken soup with rice" in my ear, these already beloved books became so much more than words and pictures. They created magic between me and my children, and some of the best moments I've ever had being their mom.
And so, on this Mother's Day, I say thank you, Maurice Sendak. And all the other magicians out there.
My Wild Thing, on her first Halloween
* She has a couple of toddlers now, so she's probably kicking their asses at Candyland.
** It's just a side benefit.
I eat fresh fruit or oatmeal for breakfast every day.
I still haven't had a Diet Coke.
And when I went through this month's Bon Appétit magazine, I was immediately drawn to a vegetarian recipe made with yogurt.
So what if it was cake? I still think I should get partial credit*.