Listen to the Mustn’ts


Every night after his bath, we would read Theo a story before bed. My favourite books include the collection of poems by Shel Silverstein. Today, this poem seems especially fitting for our little warrior.

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,

Listen to the DON’TS

Listen to the SHOULDN’TS


Listen to the NEVER HAVES

Then listen close to me—

Anything can happen, child,

ANYTHING can be.

–       Shel Silverstein


  1. Thank you for sharing Theodore’s story. We first learned of his struggle through your sister in law Laura’s infant loss group. We have been sending our prayers to your family, and are touched to hear of Theo’s progress. So glad that he has defied the odds. Continued prayers are headed your way from across the US that he continues on an “impossibly” positove trajectory.

  2. Ashlee…I say this not lightly and with no exaggeration: reading Theo’s story, and this post in particular, has shifted something in my disposition. What a road you’re walking, and with such grace and humanity and realism and optimism and truth all mixed together. It’s awful, and yet I’m full of awe.
    I’ll buoy you with strength from here- all of you. Thank you for sharing him with us, he’s quite the little hero.

  3. Hi! I was wondering if I could use the poem for a assignment in my online class. Please contact me back as soon as possible. Thanks!

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