The following post was originally written by my husband to our oldest son Enzo (age 4 1/2) on his blog
It is so beautiful and touching I just had to share it with everyone. I actually have a very hard time reading it and I cry every time.
So with JB's permission here it is:
June 24th, 2006
Tonight I read you the last chapter of The House at Pooh Corner, and I am hoping that you didn’t notice me choking up a little as we read. I had a hard time finishing it without a tear, and I don’t think you noticed that it slipped out as we were having our nightly snuggle time upstairs before bed.
In the chapter, you see, Pooh, Piglet, Eyore, Kanga, Roo, Owl and Rabbit all say goodbye to Christopher Robin, because they know he is Going Away, even though they don’t know where he is going or why. Afterwards Pooh is the only one left, and he and Christopher Robin go for an aimless walk.
Christopher Robin asks Pooh what his favorite thing in the world to do is:
“‘Well,’ said Pooh, ‘what I like best–’ and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what that was called…”
‘I like that too,’ said Christopher Robin, ‘but what I like doing best is Nothing.’
‘How do you do Nothing?’ asked Pooh, after he had wondered for a long time.
‘Well, it’s when people call out at you just as you’re going off to do it, What are you going to do, Christopher Robin, and you say, Oh, nothing, and then you go and do it.’
‘Oh, I see,’ said Pooh.
‘This is a nothing sort of thingthat we’re doing now.’
‘Oh, I see,’ said Pooh again.
‘It means just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.’
‘Oh!’ said Pooh.”
Then later we come to the part that made me sad:
“Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hands, called out ‘Pooh!’
‘Yes?’ said Pooh.
‘When I’m — when — Pooh!’
‘Yes, Christopher Robin?’
‘I’m not going to do Nothing any more.’
‘Well, not so much. They don’t let you.’
Pooh waited for him to go on, but he was silent again.
‘Yes, Christopher Robin?’ said Pooh helpfully.
‘Pooh, when I’m — you know — when I’m not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?’
‘Will you be here too?’
‘Yes, Pooh, I will be, really. I promise I will be, Pooh.’
‘That’s good,’ said Pooh.
‘Pooh, promise you won’t forget about me, ever. Not even when I’m a hundred.’
Pooh thought for a little.
‘How old shall I be then?’
‘I promise,’ he said.
Still with his eyes on the world Christopher Robin put out a hand and felt for Pooh’s paw.
‘Pooh,’ said Christopher Robin earnestly, ‘if I — if I’m not quite –’ he stopped and tried again — ‘Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won’t you?’
‘Oh, nothing.’ He laughed and jumped to his feet. ‘Come on!’
‘Where?’ said Pooh.
‘Anywhere,’ said Christopher Robin.
So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them along the way, in that enchanted place on the top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.”
It wasn’t until I read this, Enzo, that I really, truly faced the fact that you will someday grow up. It hit me like a thunderclap, and I nearly wept with such joy and sadness. It is the best and the hardest thing about being your daddy. I am so proud that you have grown into such a big four year old. But as quickly as these years have gone, I know the rest will go, and like Christopher Robin, the time will come for you to put away toys.
When that comes, I will comfort myself with memories of sitting with you, reading a Pooh story before bed, with you listening to the story and “all the things you can’t hear”, and me trying not to shed a tear that another day with you has come and gone.
Goodnight, sweet boy.