You can’t force your kids to take a trip down memory lane.
A few weeks ago, on an impromptu visit to the Cincinnati Art Museum, my family caught the second to last day of a Robert McCloskey exhibit, Make Way for Ducklings.
What a treat!
As we perused the art, I babbled to the kids about Blueberries for Sal, a favorite of mine. I read my copy to them when they were little.
“I’m not sure I remember it,” one of them said.
I don’t know why it surprises me what I remember and what they don’t.
Meanwhile, Eddie had his own memories of McCloskey’s Homer Price, remembering that the boy’s uncle invented an amazing donut machine.
My brain was tickled by images of The Man Who Lost His Head, written by Claire Huchet Bishop and illustrated by McCloskey. I had totally forgotten this book until I saw it in the exhibit. In the story, a man wakes up without his head and tries to replace it with a pumpkin, a turnip, a wood head. As a child, the whole thing struck me as a bit horrifying as a child.
When we got home, I dug out our McCloskey books, including Blueberries for Sal.
“Oh yeah!” both Max and Calvin said.
A few nights later, I tried to get them to read it out loud with me. Together.
They wanted to read in goofy voices and made each other laugh so hard there wasn’t any reading going on.
I couldn’t get too annoyed because I remember cracking up like this as a kid. And I realized I was trying to force my memory on them. I liked the book, they liked the book but at nine weren’t ready to be nostalgic.
But I do recommend checking out this Hamilton, Ohio native’s work.