Is There Such a Thing as a Coincidence?

Yesterday, while the furnace men were replacing our HVAC Carter called and we face timed for a while. She showed me a video presentation she made for a psychology course. It was about the correlation of comfort food and happiness in children. Part of her video had Carole King singing the Chicken Soup with Rice song based on the poem by Maurice Sendack.

I told Carter that I used to read her that poem from a tiny little red book which was one of four in a Maurice Sendack collection called the Nutshell Books. She said she had felt something familiar when she stumbled upon this Chicken Soup song, but couldn’t quite place how she knew it.

Later in the day when I was searching for the lost key to the crawl space I pulled out some boxes on a shelf in my linen press in my bedroom. The boxes contained a lot of random stuff, like all the little envelopes and bags of extra buttons that come with clothes, a dresser set of brushes and powder boxes with the name Daisy, empty boxes that good jewelry had come in and two little red books.

The Books were half of the Nutshell library collection, one, The Chicken Soup with Rice and the other Pierre, a cautionary tale in four parts with a prologue. I don’t think I have looked in these boxes in ten years. What are the chances that I find the very book Carter and I talked about the day she is using it in her presentation?

I FaceTimed her back and read her the book. My favorite part was:

In February

it will be

My Snowman’s


With cake for him

And soup for me.

Happy Once

Happy Twice

Happy chicken soup

With Rice.

Carter Suggested I hang those little books on the Christmas tree. And so I did. I don’t think it was a coincidence, but exactly what it is I can not name.

2 Comments on “Is There Such a Thing as a Coincidence?”

  1. Frances says:

    We read “Chicken Soup and Rice” to Jack a million times when he was little. I think we even read it to him in utero.

    In January it’s so nice,
    While slipping on the sliding ice
    To sip hot chicken soup with rice
    Sipping once, sipping’ twice
    Sipping chicken soup with rice

    I think I know the whole thing by heart!


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