I really do encourage them to spread the love around and not play favorites. But they are children. And that is what they do.
Every night before their bedtime, two boys fresh from their bath and in their pajamas come to our bed carrying a pile of books they handpicked for the evening. And every evening for the last few months, Mak proudly walks in with the same book. And so bedtime at our home usually starts with Tato shouting: "Oh, no! Jungle Book AGAIN!" MacDaddy rolls his eyes. It's Groundhog Day. And I read to Mak without even having to look at the words.
Everyone jumps in and starts feeding the new obsession. I get him the shirts and a new version of the book. A dear friend sends over more Jungle Book apparel. MacDaddy convinces him the Aeta in Subic Zoo is actually Mowgli, the snake is Kaa and the tiger there is Shere Khan. Mak is star-struck.
Ninang Den, part time mosaic artist and full time enabler of her nephews' dreams, gifts him with Walt Disney's Double Disc Platinum Edition of The Jungle Book. The video has been digitally restored, the sound and picture enhanced. There are bonus games to play, songs that were never heard in its original release and even the introduction of Rocky the Rhino, the long lost character. The Jonas Brothers star in the music video. The Jo Bros! This is the 40th Anniversary Edition, after all. My boy is over the moon.
And because of the persistence of a three year old, I am reacquainted with the Jungle Book. I fall in love with Mowgli, a boy raised by wolves in the Indian jungle, serious yet unconditonal Bagheera and Baloo, the happiest bear ever. I fall in love with the music. And these are the bare necessities of life.