Monday, August 31, 2009

NOT like the FISH!!

When my husband Matt and I were younger folks of the footloose and fancy-free variety, I lived just around the corner from this awesome bookstore in the West Village (OH that gives me a pang... imagine all that time when I could go there for as long as I wanted, whenever I wanted, and I had no idea what a luxury kid-free time in a bookstore was! It's like gold!) and we used to go there from time to time, and once I bought this book which was a huge gigantic anthology of Little Nemo's Adventure's in Slumberland, which is a comic strip from the 1910's by Winsor McCay, and we both totally fell in love with the unbelievable intricate and astonishing and psychedelic art of this comic strip. At some point I guess we were pretty serious about each other and decided that if we ever had a kid we would name him Nemo Truly (Truly is an old family name on my mother's side) or Clara Bow (also there was a Clara Bow retrospective across the street at Film Forum and she won my heart...) but, as fate would have it, well, you can probably guess. We're just lucky that we didn't name him Nemo and then the movie came out. Strangely enough, I was talking to a librarian about graphic novels fairly recently and this exact same thing happened to him, except with his cat... he named his cat Nemo and everyone thinks it's after the fish in the Disney movie. Nothing wrong with the movie, you know... just don't want to name your kid after it.... maybe your cat, if you roll like that, but not your kid...

Anyway, it's just melting my heart lately that our boy is old enough and I can share this really meaningful book with him. He's been poring over it... the writing is small and the language is totally antiquated and unusual (which I love) but he's digging it. Since he was even called Nemo in utero, he probably has a particular affinity for it. Each one ends with Nemo waking up from Slumberland and his parents scolding him for falling out of bed or making noise, "You'll have to give that boy another dose of turpentine and sugar. Listen to him, he can't sleep. He eats too much candy, Dear." or , "You've woken us up again, Nemo, after your Mother cautioning you about eating sardines before going to bed, eh?"

How foolish we were... it seems obvious now that we were to have a Jack and no one else.
Though sometimes I secretly think he's just a little Nemo-y around the edges.