Another installment of The Giving Book Club as described in the post "Giving Is Supposed To Come From Here..." Luckily, I have collected enough Lemonade shelf books to continue for a very, very long time.
I have a few wonderful and really special memories of my father. One was that he loved The Muppet Show just as much as the rest of our family. I remember his favorite characters were the two grumpy old men in the balcony and the Swedish Chef. For me? My absolute favorite character was Kermit the frog. Growing up I never really thought much about WHY he was my favorite. He just was.
Years ago, I was feeling pretty low and somehow found myself in a book store where someone had left a single copy of this book on a chair near the coffee table book section. I remember it was still winter and I had thought that if I could find a book that had pictures of somewhere warm, somewhere I wanted to travel to, some beautiful nature pictures, spring and sunshine wouldn't seem so far away. Kermit was on the cover, so it caught my eye. I picked it up to just thumb through it and some time later, I suddenly realized I had finished the book. I had unknowingly sat down on that chair to continue reading it. Needless to say, I adopted the book (after duly paying for it), and took it home with me. I knew it needed a home, and I needed it's wisdom. A perfect fit as far as I was concerned.
"It's Not Easy Being Green" was really my introduction to Kermit's creator, Jim Henson. Like The Muppet Show, this was not just a child's book, nor was it just an adult's book. It's a book for those willing to look at life through the eyes of a child and realize that what the child was seeing clearly, was the true reality of life without the cataracts that blur our sight as we age.
This book always GIVES me something different, every time I pick it up. Being a military family has it's own unique challenges and so the title of this book often seems ironic (in a good way) to me. For me, the one thing this book gives me is always the same. HOPE. It gives me hope even when I think I'll never feel hope again. It says to me: "You are NOT drowning, you are eight years old again, lying on your back, relaxing and letting your body drift to the top of the water and just floating. Just enjoying the view of the picture book stories to be found in a starry sky or deciding the species of cloud animals passing by. You have the energy, experience and skill to swim to shore, but first, take a few minutes to really look around you and then take that mental picture with you to show someone else how it is done."
I have given this book to friends who are struggling with something in their lives. I have given it to graduating relations. There is something about the hope and innocence in all the little vignettes that make up "It's Not Easy Being Green" (ISBN 9781401302429) that just makes sense to me. Again, like the book, "Random Acts of Kindness", this book is not big in size. But both books are of few words and both are big on hope and heart.
QOTD: "I've got a dream, too, but it's about singing and dancing and making people happy. That's the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And, well, I've found a whole bunch of friends who have the same dream. And it kind of makes us like a family." ~ Kermit the frog from The Muppet Movie