How to help your child make sense of it all?…Have no fear! Horton is here!
When our kids watch the marches, the protests at airports, the unrelenting, ever growing, global outcry over Trump’s edicts, do we know how they are taking all this in, and if so, what it means?
After an evening’s digest of watching massive crowds protesting Trump’s immigration and refugee “executive orders” it was time to put the kids to bed, which is never without a bedtime story. This night our 5-year-old’s request was, “Dad, read Horton Hears A Who!”
Half asleep myself, I opened the bright orange Dr. Seuss book with that unforgettable Horton the elephant on the cover and I began…Perhaps you know the story.
Upon discovering a whole Who village on a clover’s head, Horton bravely protects them from Who deniers, evil birds of prey, and monkeys who beat and caged him, but all the while he holds the delicate clover and the Whos’ lives wrapped by his faithful trunk.
Then, these words clicked…sure as a Dr. Seuss rhyme.
“But he (Horton) managed to call/To the (Who) Mayor: Don’t give up! I believe in you all!/ A person’s a person, no matter how small! And you very small persons will not have to die/If you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!”
After all attempts to yell, scream, bang pots and more, still the Who people were not heard. Still they were in danger of extinction by the hard-hearted jungle creatures who harassed Horton.
But, then, the mayor finds one small Who boy who had not joined the ruckus.
“This,” cried the Mayor, “is your town’s darkest hour!/ The time for all Whos who have blood that is red/To come to the aid of their country!” he said./ We’ve GOT to make noises in greater amounts!/So, open your mouth, lad! For every voice counts!”
The young Who’s “Yopp” was the decisive voice!
“That one small, extra Yopp put it over!/ Finally, at last! From that speck on that clover/Their voices were heard!..”
The Whos were saved. The menacing kangaroo, threatening their demise, finally listened and…once he heard, once he acknowledged the Whos’ existence, he had a change of heart.
“From now on, you know what I’m planning to do?/From now on, I’m going to protect them with you!/…From sun in the summer. From rain when it’s fall-ish, I’m going to protect them. No matter how small-ish!”
Someone send “Horton Hears A Who!” to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Washington, D.C. Address it to “Donald Trump and Staff” and inscribe it with these words, “For every bedtime until you hear us, Mr. President.”
And, perhaps, this Horton story just might help you explain to your children or grandchildren just how important their voices are, no matter how small. Perhaps this book may help them better grasp why YOU are out there, in the marches, organizing local resistance groups, getting up, getting out, and NOT giving up!
Good reading and sleep well! I have a feeling you’re going to need your rest.
The Unlikely Student