I remember the day we found Shel Silversein’s children’s book, “Where the Side Walk Ends.” We were Christmas shopping in downtown Bangor, Maine. We laughed like children.
Years later, we read all his poems to our one girl and two boys. Here’s part of “The Little Blue Engine.” It shocked us.
The Little Blue Engine
The little blue engine looked up at the hill.
His light was weak, his whistle was shrill.
He was tired and small, and the hill was tall,
And his face blushed red as he softly said,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.”
So he started up with a chug and a strain,
And he puffed and pulled with might and main.
And slowly he climbed, a foot at a time, …
… He would not stop — now he neared the top —
And strong and proud he cried out loud,
“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!”
He was almost there, when — CRASH! SMASH! BASH!
He slid down and mashed into engine hash
On the rocks below… which goes to show
If the track is tough and the hill is rough,
THINKING you can just ain’t enough!
Independence feels good. We start expressing, “I’ll do it myself,” with our toddler-body-language before we can talk.
There’s a place for independence – being your own toddler-person.
On the other hand, it takes many years
to remember you can’t do it yourself.