My all-time favorite book that I will cherish until the day I die is Charlotte’s Web. I was hooked immediately, falling instantly in love with the plight of precious Wilbur. If I ever had a pig child, I’d want him to be just like this “Radiant” porker – a pet mommy’s dream come true. Aside from a brilliant story that I find entertaining time and time again, Charlotte’s Web also taught me some things about being a mom – very important parenting and life lessons. Here are six:
- Raise your daughters to be independent, strong-willed thinkers who are filled with compassion. Teach them to follow-through on their agreements and obligations. We need the next generation of women to be brave and strong enough to lead entire countries. Or save a threatened runt from sudden death.
- Instill in your children a sense of acceptance and tolerance. Like the animals on Zuckerman’s farm, no two people are exactly alike. No matter a person’s race, sexual orientation, religion, gender and so on, they deserve to be treated with respect and valued as a human being – or a pig, spider or goose.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about death and loss with your kids. As Charlotte herself says, “We’re born, we live a little while, we die.” It’s part of life. And life isn’t always fair. Wilbur was saved from death on countless occasions. Yet Charlotte lost her life – graciously and gracefully. In the end, as evident in her many offspring, the circle of life continued.
- Encourage friendships and social interactions. Both enable your children to grow beyond their own horizons. The friendship between Wilbur and Charlotte gave him the strength to carry on even through the darkest of days. Likewise, it gave Charlotte peace knowing there would be someone she trusted there to see after her children.
- Be a role model! Not a Templeton! Always live your life with purpose and display the manners you wish your children to replicate. They want to be like you!
On the flip side, here are some other takeaways:
- Never allow your child (or anyone for that matter) to try to wrestle an ax (or a sword, knife, machete, etc.) away from you on wet morning grass. It’s dangerous. Someone could lose a pigtail (hardy har).
- Ten-year-olds do not need to carry around wooden daggers in the daylight. We need to teach them early that vampires only come out at night.
- Never fall for the old pail trick. If someone dumps slop into a bucket, no matter how good it looks, run the other way! They’re baiting you!
- Please don’t kill spiders. They might look creepy, but can you imagine the earth being overrun by termites or beetles? Spiders keep the bug population in check people.
- Never publicly declare that you can hear the animals talking. For gawd’s sake, they’ll lock you up.