Parenthood and The Lorax

I was a Seussaholic as a kid. I had a vast collection of his books, and read them each dozens of times. When I had kids of my own, I discovered that I still had portions of some of them, like Fox in Socks, memorized – nearly 40 years later. That’s how much I loved Dr. Seuss.

But one book I never read was The Lorax. I knew it had something to do with trees, but that was is. Sounded preachy. So I skipped it.

My daughter received a stuffed Lorax toy when the movie came out, but I didn’t see the film until it hit Netflix. At which point my daughter was at just the right age for us to watch it daily. But I was okay with that, because I rather like the film. It’s engaging, funny, and full of little side gags that make me enjoy it after hundreds of watches.

Which, since my son adores the movie, it’s certainly had in this house.

Part of my enjoyment stems from the way the movie mirrors my life. From waking up to a house (and bed!) full of rowdy, hungry little creatures:

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to trying to find something fun we can all do together:

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to explaining things slightly beyond their – and my! – grasp, like the 80s:

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I feel like The Lorax gets me.

My kids’ enjoyment of the film is simpler. They mostly just like shaking their tushies to the music:

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Which is also okay in my book.

But I love the message of the story, too. It’s not as preachy as I feared. Just the idea that little things  – and little people – can bring about great change. Even without meaning to. And that change can be good or bad, depending upon who your intentions serve and whether those intentions are focused on the moment or the future.

That’s an oversimplified breakdown, I know. And many choices are more complicated than that. But my kids are young, and simple lessons work best for them.

Which is why we’re going to plant a tree today. To do a little something today to make tomorrow better. It’s a start, anyway.

Happy Earth Day!

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