Friday, April 24, 2009

Mr. Putter and Tabby books are some of my favorite library books to read aloud to Christopher Robin. In Mr. Putter and Tabby Pour the Tea we learn how Mr. Putter and Tabby (his old orange cat) got together in the first place. He lived alone in a big house, with no one to share his English muffins with in the morning, or his tea in the afternoon, no one to keep him company while he tended his tulips or trimmed his roses, no one to listen to his stories in the evenings. He decided he wanted a cat to ease his loneliness, so he went to the pet store. The pet store lady only had kittens for sale ("'No one wants cats. They're not cute. They're not peppy.' Mr. Putter hadn't been cute or peppy for a very long time.") so he went to the shelter, where they had three cats to choose from. The orange one was old, her bones creaked, her hair was thinning, and she appeared to be a little deaf. Mr. Putter was old, his bones creaked, his hair was thinning, and he was a little deaf. He took her home, and the rest of the book is about their life together.

I like the Mr. Putter and Tabby books because they're so calm. They lead a quiet life together of simple, silly adventures. There is a part of me that envies Mr. Putter his quiet, lonely life. If I were in his position, I think, imagine all the books I could read...all the projects I could throw myself into with abandon. It would take me a long time to start feeling lonely, I think to myself.

If I were really in Mr. Putter's position, all alone in a big old house day after day, I think I would dream about the days I'm in right now, in the management position of a happy household full of energy and life and problems and endless tasks... I would probably fill my time reading books about bustling households full of happy activity and endless adventures, and fill my thoughts with memories of these crazy days full of funny moments that crack me up and hard moments that make me cry. I would sit in my chair as Mr. Putter does, and look through my photo albums, and tell stories about these days, these intense, difficult days that will so soon be gone and only relived in memory, and shed tears of longing.

I hope I remember this, if I ever am alone...this twinge of envy I feel as a young mother whose life is full of people who need me, when I visit a nursing home and see neat little rooms of people who have lived full lives and now have the gift of time, time for crossword puzzles and books and projects. The pang of jealousy I feel when I talk with a single friend from college days, planning yet another trip to a different part of the world, sharing an apartment in the city with her cat. I know, because I know myself (and I remember) that if that was me I would long for the life I'm leading now. God fashioned me for the life I lead. But I think there's more. Some day when these days are held in a photo album on my lap, I think I'll discover He has also fashioned me for other, as yet undreamed of, days.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Thanks for the reminder