Monday, May 31, 2010

Little Women

I haven't visited this place for...a month. First I went on a reading spree...three fun novels in the matter of a few weeks. And after those were's (nearly) summer, and summer fills up with a hundred miscellaneous and wonderful activities (that, if you don't watch out, end up crowding out the best life has to offer...have to be so careful not to over commit myself.)

Today I intend to get my garden in. If not fully, then at least mostly. So a brief composition, then outside to dirt and sunshine.

The first book in my reading spree of three:
Inspired by a play performed by the high school drama class of one of my dearest friends, I picked up the book Little Women and read through it in about a week. The story felt so familiar to me, I was surprised to realize I had only read it once, long ago in elementary school. I loved it then, but of course had forgotten so many details... My most vivid memories about my first reading was looking ahead and seeing to my dismay an illustration of Jo rejecting Laurie's proposal. Later I plagued my enjoyment of the story again by absent-mindedly picking up a copy of the book in my school library, flipping through it, and accidentally reading about Jo and Professor Baehr. I had just met him in my actual reading of the book, and the idea that she would end up with that old man horrified me. Happily, by the time I read through the story to where she did end up with him, my mind was entirely changed and I could accept their union with gladness.

This time, reading through, I found myself watching Marmee carefully, and being impressed by how she interacted with her girls. I feel such chagrin and embarrassment when my kids misbehave, such responsibility to steer them rightly when they are doing something wrong. I know my kids are very young, and the girls in Little Women are well on their way to becoming ladies, but I realized there is something wholesome and good about the way Marmee accepts each of them with all their little foibles, saves most of her advice for times when they directly ask for it, finds ways to teach them indirectly through circumstances rather than lectures, and lets time bring them round to talk through things when they're ready rather than jump and worry about each little mishap. It has helped me relax a bit with my own kids, accept that each of them will have their own weaknesses and will never achieve perfection, and see that maybe setting a good example for them, being open about my own struggles in my journey to become like Christ, and finding ways to inspire them to want what's right will be more effective than trying to talk them into doing the right thing in each little situation that arises and feeling the need to correct each small infraction.

That's all for now. Time to give my seeds a start in this already hot and dry late-spring.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Great thoughts! Now I'd like to read it again to appreciate different things as an adult!