When my best friends son was born, I bought her a book called The Loveables, In the Kingdom of Self Esteem. I found it at a small bookstore in Oakland, it was beautifully illustrated and had a great message.
Last week I ordered The Loveables from Amazon Prime for my son. It arrived and I eagerly opened the book, hearing that quiet spine crack and enjoying the new book smell. As I started to read it I realized that it was a little cheesy. I didn’t remember feeling that way about the book when I first saw it. I turned through the pages, reading the positive phrases on each. “The gates of the kingdom are opening wide, as you say these three words three times with pride: “I’m lovable! I’m lovable! I’m lovable!”
For some reason I felt embarrassed that I had purchased this book. I can’t really put my finger on it but it felt a little exposing. It reminded me of very lonely times in my life and of how trying to say these three words with pride would bring tears to my eyes.
Jeez, so heavy, so much past struggle, suddenly all wrapped up in this book. Did I really want my child to read this? Could I disassociate my own intense feelings from the book? Why did a children’s book make me feel like a basket case?
Luke saw the book recently and started babbling loudly. He promptly sat down and started turning the pages, more and more excited to see the different animals on each. He loves it.
Cheesy, perhaps. And I am a basket case. Clearly I am a good audience for The Loveables.