Monday, May 22, 2017

Microstory 586: ‘My Miacid, Sid’ Author Returning to Kansas City

Twenty-four years ago, a book appeared on the shelves that touched the hearts of many young children, and also their parents. I can’t tell you how many mothers and fathers I’ve met who’ve told me about how their sons and daughters require them to read that book every night before bed. I am, of course, talking about My Miacid, Sid. Before this children’s book was released, there were many others that involved pet care. They were designed to teach our young ones what pets need, and how they become part of the family. They deliver, not so subtly, an analogy for eventually becoming an adult, and a responsible member of society. This is all well and good, but they were missing a key component. Death. Death is one of the two things that unite us all; the other being life. We all come from different walks of life. We’re born at different times, to different guardians, under different circumstances, to different neural wiring, and with contradictory perspectives. But what we all have in common is that we’re alive, and that we know we will one day die. My Miacid, Sid is a surprisingly powerful and moving chronicle of a young girl’s experiences with her pet miacid. Sid grows up with Railly. Together they learn to be gracious, loving, and careful. They learn to not knock people down, and to give others a reason to trust them. And then, as would happen, Sid dies at a time when Railly is just really starting her life. She mourns her lost friend, and honors him throughout the rest of her own days by acknowledging the value of life. She goes on to become a hospice nurse, comforting people when they’re at their worst, and in their final days. We then flashforward more to watch her at her own death, surrounded by all of her loved ones. And as she passes to the other side, the first thing she sees is Sid, smiling and welcoming her to a new beginning. It’s a particularly long children’s book, one that the author has said she worried might deter people from giving it a chance. But we have, and I personally believe that the world is better for it. Carina Cole has not written anything since this book. She has spent her career travelling the world, giving readings and moderating discussions. She does not relegate her trips to primary schools, and in fact receives a great deal of requests from tertiary schools, and even colleges. She will be returning to Kansas City, her hometown for the fifty-sixth time for one such of these events at James Simian Academy on the ninth of Manny this year.

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