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Maurice Sendak: A mom's appreciation for going beyond Disney

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(Read caption) Thank you Maurice Sendak, from a mom who loved embracing the wild things beyond the Disney way. Picture here, a scene from the Fantasy Opera production of Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are," in 2005 at Syracuse University in Florence, Italy. Mr. Sendak died May 8, 2012.

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Just 3, my son stomped around the living room banging his drum and occasionally growling. He urged me to follow. I did, trying to hide giggles as I roared.

Another day, we mixed the batter for chocolate chip cookies. “Milk for the morning cake! Milk!” my son Simon shouted as we poured in ingredients.

On a lazy post-nap afternoon, we cuddled as we watched a video about a little boy named Pierre who was so cantankerous that he did not even care if a lion swallowed him whole. Together, we warbled every time the narrator, Carole King, sung, “I don’t care.”

Thank you, author Maurice Sendak, for each of those precious moments with my son Simon. Thank you for what you have given countless children, parents, and grandparents, and all of the readers of your books.

The news of Maurice Sendak’s death today at age 83 saddened me more than I could have imagined. Imagine. Mr. Sendak gave so many of us the freedom to imagine not just of rainbows and angels but of what those monsters under the bed might look like.

I remember few books from my early childhood except for Where the Wild Things Are. I don’t remember why I loved that book so, but it doesn’t matter. I am reliving my love of that short tale and other Sendak books through my son.

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