It's graduation season. PreK, Kindergarten, High School, College, Grad School - graduates left and right.
Borders, Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores and probably Hallmark are selling their annual boost of this Dr. Seuss classic, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
I'm a fan of Dr. Seuss. And this book is indeed a classic, well versed and well gifted for such an occasion.
We have multiple copies.
I read it to the boys again recently, their bedtime story of choice.
A few of my favorite excerpts...
You have brains in your head.You have feet in your shoesYou can steer yourselfany direction you choose.You're on your own. And you know what you know.And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care.About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.And you may not find anyyou'll want to go down.In that case, of course,you'll head straight out of town.It's opener therein the wide open air.Out there things can happenand frequently doto people as brainyand footsy as you.And when things start to happen,don't worry. Don't stew.Just go right along.You'll start happening too.You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don'tBecause, sometimes, you won't.I'm sorry to say sobut, sadly, it's truethat Hang-ups and Bang-upscan happen to you.You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?How much can you lose? How much can you win?And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?Or go around back and sneak in from behind?Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
I'm afraid that sometimesyou'll play lonely games too.Games you can't win'cause you'll play against you.All Alone!Whether you like it or not,Alone will be somethingyou'll be quite a lot.And when you're alone, there's a very good chanceyou'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.There are some, down the road between hither and yon,that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.
Stop right there. Tyler was stuck on this page. He really didn't want to turn the next. He needed to think on this page, this stanza, this illustration. The things between hither and yon, the things that will scare you right out of your pants.
Even as I pushed him further, he kept flipping back to this page.
Things that will scare you. He was stuck.
Eventually, we finished the book, with my gentle prodding.
You'll get mixed up, of course,as you already know.You'll get mixed upwith many strange birds as you go.So be sure when you step.Step with care and great tactand remember that Life'sa Great Balancing Act.Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.And never mix up your right foot with your left.And will you succeed?Yes! You will, indeed!(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
And as I kissed him good night, he flipped back to that page. He lingered.
I whispered to him the seeds he and I have been sewing into his heart, "Be strong a courageous, kiddo. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go. Lie down and sleep in peace, for God will keep you safe."
"Good night, Mommy."
"Good night, sweet boy."
I'm pretty sure we both fell asleep thinking of that page.