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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Miss Spider and we

PPS--(Pre Post Script)
See the post below--but I'm really serious...(And now SO nervous we won't get even close to 100) email wish would be awesome!!!!
now... back to the story...

Everyday after Tess and Jude get off the school bus, we have a routine of hopping on the couch and reading books together before lunch.  They quickly abandon their backpacks in the middle of the floor, race into their room, and each select a book.  Good Night Moon, is a favorite.  So is Jude's life book.  Arnie the Doughnut, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle, Guess How Much I Love You, and Runaway Bunny among others.  These are favorites that come and go as time passes.  You know how favorite books go... kiddos are perfectly happy reading the exact same book day after day after day.  Again and again and again.  Till they know each character and word by heart.  Eventually they trade their favorite for a new favorite.

Tess and Jude have never had the same favorite... till now.

These days, both babes have become obsessed with David Kirk's Little Miss Spider.
It unexpectedly appeared in our after-school read pile one day.  I remembered a little about it.  Not enough.
I flipped through the pages with it's sing-song rhymes.  A little spider enters the world and can't find her mama.  She wonders where her mama is.  I was choking up on page 2 already wondering if I should have preread the book.  Got to page the 3rd to last page, and remembered the gravity of this book with such depth.  How could I forget?
Big stuff.
Big stuff in little guy format.
Little Spider's birth mama never makes an appearance in the story.  But another mama, Betty, loves Little Spider so very much, and they become a family.

It struck me like a ton of bricks.  The depth of what the content was saying to my children.  That they are loved and welcomed into this world.  And a mama, me, took a bit longer to find them.

On that first read in a long time, by that last page, I was holding back my emotions, my tears.  As I read the last page, Jude turned to me and asked, Is that the mama? pointing to Betty.  There was so much confusion in his question.  I could see his wheels turning.  How could a beetle be a mama to a spider.  Especially when they didn't look alike.

Tess and Jude have asked that this book to be read to them at least once a day for weeks now.  The binding is now coming off, and we all know the words by heart now.

I find myself still fighting back the tears when I read it, and I know it has something to do with my own little China spider still waiting for a mama to call her own.  I want the book to be a catalyst for Tess and Jude, not scary stuff that makes mamas cry.

They ask questions every. single. time.  Tess is fascinated by Bity, (or Bettle Betty) and gets so excited and smiles broadly when Betty saves Little Spider from the birds.  Tess keeps asking about Betty.  Where is Bity?  Bity is very pretty! she adds.
Jude asks more in depth questions, mostly things like, Where is spider's mama?  Why isn't her mama there?  Whose home is that?  

You can see the processing so clearly that I'm surprised there isn't smoke pouring our their ears.

I am fully aware of the controversial messages some folks think this book sends to adoptees.  Some of you adoptive parents may like this book and others may not.  I can see both the pros and the cons.  For us, I will say that this book is working as a catalyst for my littles to express themselves and ask questions.  I'm going to continue sitting there right next to them, discussing the issues.  So for now, I think this is good stuff, so we'll keep reading it to them and talking about it as long as they ask.

Is this book in your library?


  1. Wow. I stumbled upon your blog yesterday and am completely amazed. How precious your sweet family is, and I love the idea of the book. Thinking of your and yours.

  2. No, not yet! We have a couple of other of these books, but not this particular one. I love that they're processing. Beautiful pics. :o)

  3. Beautiful post, photos, and parenting! So much for little ones to process...anything that helps with that is valuable. I haven't read that one, though. Thank you for sharing!

  4. We don't have that book, but there is also a "Miss Spider" cartoon series on Nick Jr. that is based on the books. Not only is Miss Spider (now all grown up) adopted, but she and her husband spider have a number of adopted and biological children. There is one episode about one of the adopted bugs trying to find her birth mother. It was very well-handled, in my opinion.

  5. I love this book, so do my littles! It chokes me up every time at the simple depth.

  6. Thank you so much for this post. I used to read little miss spider to kids I nannied for. We have an almost 2 year old adopted son and I had forgotten the significance of the book. I love ways to reaffirm how special our kids are adopted or not. Love your blog, thanks for sharing!

  7. I understand why the book might be viewed as controversial but we own it and love it! The pictures are so phenomenal they draw you in. Hopefully as our daughter grows she will also ask the questions that I will work to answer (without tears?!). Thanks for sharing!!! Those are some precious, book-reading pictures!

  8. It is our libray. I have one daughter who was born in Vietnam (now 9) who I met at 5 weeks and adopted at 3 months and I have one daughter born in China who was adopted at 11 months. We all enjoy this book. If you have not checked out Mother for Coco it is another favorite with a similar story line. It is also about animals not bugs.

  9. I love Little Miss Spider! I MUST go get her off the shelf downstairs! I love the processing and the open dialogue....I also love that your kids get books every day AFTER school!!

    P.S. I still need your address! I am 1/2 way done with 6 wishes :)

  10. It's not but my daughter loves the Miss Spider show on Nick Jr. The kids are on fall break starting tomorrow and all next week. I had planned to take them to get crafts to keep them busy, maybe a trip to the book store is warranted as well.

    I love the pictures.

  11. It's on Linhsey's bookshelf and I have read it to her a handful of times. It's beautiful.

  12. I came across your world and have been reading about your family. I think a family should be just as crazy as yours :-)
    And then you read Little Miss Spider! I had forgotten all about her, the story and the reading I used to do to my two oldest sons. Since I got the book from one of my best friends, and since she is American and I am Norwegian I would always translate as I was reading. We all loved the book and I cannot believe I forgot it. I need to find it somewhere in the house in our shelves and read it to my youngest son who was born in South Korea. Thank you for the reminder :-)


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