Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Parenting Lessons from Children's Books: Charlotte's Web

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illustration by Garth Williams

I want to be a mother like Charlotte A. Cavatica.  A strong theme in Charlotte's Web is said to be the power of friendship, but I think that more than a friend, Charlotte was a surrogate mother to Wilbur.  She comforted him, sang him to sleep, she never spoke down to him, and most importantly, she was his advocate to the world. 

One of the most vulnerable animals on the Zuckerman farm, Wilbur learned of his fate with great horror.  Charlotte promised she would do everything in her power to save him from the smokehouse, and she never    She advised him "... try to build yourself up.  I want you to get plenty of sleep, and stop worrying.  Never hurry and never worry! Keep fit, and don't lose your nerve."  Later, it was Charlotte behind the scenes who helped the world see what was special in something as common as a runt pig.  Don't you want to the world to see your "some" kid,  who is "terrific," "radiant," and "humble" too?   If I have to stay up all night spinning elaborate webs to advocate for my kids, I'll do it- and I know you will too.  

I feel like I could write for days on why this spider inspires me as a mother.  She is honest, fiercely loving, wise, and she uses big words without apologizing.   What it comes down to in the end is that most of all, I hope that my sons will say about me, as Wilbur said of Charlotte "I owe my very life to her.  So was brilliant, beautiful and loyal to the end." 


  1. Awwwwwwwwww. Your boys are blessed to have you for their mother.

  2. It's been awhile since I've read Charlotte's Web, but I loved the story growing up, of course. I think that Charlotte is a good role model for any woman, with how she cares for and builds up others.


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