I promise, this is my last Maurice Sendak-inspired blog post!
He was talking about a little kid writing him a letter to say she hated his last book and she hoped he'd die, and how much he loved the letter.
The interviewer said that he seemed to find the unvarnished truth consoling, even if it's vicious ad painful
"If it's true, you can't care about the vicious and painful. You can only be astonished."
My kids always say, "Tell me the TROOF!"
When children tell the truth, I can only help but laugh, even if it does sting a little.
"Your breath stinks."
"Mom, why are women's breasts so floppy" (staring at me after I've come out of the shower) floppy?!
"How come your tummy looks like there's still a baby in it even though you already had a baby?"
"You look grumpy in the mornings."
Yeah, whatever. They're observations. They're vicious truths. They don't mean anything.
There was a book that I adored as a child and still love called The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop. (read it! read it to your kids!)
It's about this little boy, William who gets an antique castle and a silver leaden knight. The knight comes alive and magically shrinks William to come into the castle and embark on a journey to save his kingdom. At the end, William must defeat this magic mirror that, when turned toward you, shows you all the horrible things inside you--all the greed and meanness and insecurity. Powerful knights have died before the mirror upon seeing their insides--what they'd hidden from themselves. But when the mirror is turned toward William, he just sees himself. That's it. Just himself. He saw his insecurities and his anger, but he already knew they were there. So he just sees himself.
So my goal in life has been, since I read that book at age 10, to be a person who would always just see herself in that mirror. To be a person who is always WHO I AM through and through, no matter where I am and who I'm with. To be transparent about my own falterings. To be REAL.
I think when you're in that place, you can hear the truth. Let it sink in and burn a little bit. But know it was always there in the first place.