Here’s a secret I’ve learned from 9 years of bedtime stories: Oftentimes, the messages in children’s books can be applied to parenthood as well.
One of the greatest parenting mentors I’ve found is none other than Winnie the Pooh. The author of the series, A.A. Milne, was a father himself while writing the beloved books, which is perhaps why they have such a feeling of love and authenticity.
I’ve tucked my own three children into bed countless times while telling them stories about Pooh and his friends’ adventures in the Hundred Acre Wood. While they dreamed sweet dreams of Piglet, Eeyore, Tiger and Roo, I’d often tear up thinking about the relationship between Pooh and Christopher Robin— a bear and his boy. They both knew the time would come when Christopher had to grow up and their adventures would come to an end.
It’s a lot like motherhood: We cherish every moment while they’re with us, creating memories and stories to tell for the rest of our lives. We know that childhood ends in the blink of an eye, and we try to instill in them the values that will serve them well. And like Pooh and Christopher Robin, we try to have a little fun along the way.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
The nature of love
“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”
To ask for help when you need it
“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
How to love another person more than yourself
“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” – Pooh”
That balloons solve many a problem“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.”
That sometimes just being there is what matters
Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
That motherhood changes your priorities
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
It's the little things that mean the most
“Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”
How to be encouraging
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”