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Friday, April 18, 2014

Quoting Laura Ingalls Wilder

Early on in my relationship with my then-boyfriend-and-now-husband, Ian, I tried VERY hard to behave and not quote endless snippets from the Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I mean, he was a guy, a Brit, and I was desperate to hide my mild obsession so as not to scare the khaki pants right on off of him.

But after I had the ring on my finger, the metaphoric corset burst open and I found myself spouting 'Laura-isms' left and right as we built our home together.  Sadly for my husband, though lucky for me, it was too late for him to back out.  :)

At first, whenever I found myself relaying a chunk of wisdom from the Prairie, my husband would roll his eyes and look mildly bemused.  He probably would have preferred me to quote Scripture or something, but he put up with me anyway, bless him.

As we began to have children, I didn't quote things as much. . .but I sure did try to incorporate the life lessons I had learned through those prairie rich books into the way we crafted our family values and raised our children.

I'm not a 'bonnet-wearer.'  Well, at least not any more (see this post for a glimpse at how my beloved Gram kept me kitted out when I was younger). But I do have a prairie mindset:  I value my God, my marriage and my family above all else.  I love my country deeply and our precious environment.  I believe in working hard to carve out a life worth living.  And I think equipping my children to head into the big wide world ready for adventure or whatever comes is my main job.

So I tell my beautiful kids a story about Laura and her Ma.  Laura was worried that she would not be able to get a teaching certificate and was frustrated in her studying.  Ma gave some sound advice which, paraphrased, simple states that it is true that you may study (or work) hard for something and that something may never come to pass.  But if you don't study (or work) hard, it's certain that whatever you are aiming for won't come to pass.

I hope they learn this lesson. . .and live life with abandon and perseverance.   I hope they work hard, laugh loud, and don't worry about a bit of straw stuck in their hair along the way.

And, maybe, one day, my children will quote Laura to their children.  Not out of respect for me, though. . .out of respect for the wisdom of a woman who lived her life well.

(picture courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net and can be found here)

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