Friday, April 15, 2011

Now = Now

Last night the girls and I finished Little House in the Big Woods. I had been reading them a chapter each evening, as often as we were able--the old paperback copy from my own childhood, the one with the lovely Garth Williams drawings. I was always planning to read the Little House books to my girls, eventually, but started them now strictly on the basis of this post by Catherine Newman--my favorite mama-writer of all time. Once I had read her bittersweet description of the last scene in the book, there was no waiting, for me; plus the girls had been asking about it for a long time. The paperback was on the bookshelf in the playroom; they'd seen it and had been waiting to be old enough. I don't know if four and six is really old enough, but we've enjoyed it.

And, you know, she is so right--that last scene of the book, Laura snuggled under the quilts in her trundle bed, the winter coming, listening to Pa play his fiddle and sing "Auld Lang Syne" softly in the dark, and thinking about how that moment is now; it will always be now, and now can never be long ago-- Well, Catherine Newman is right; it's very zen. It's kind of amazing, really, and it's truly lovely. I highly recommend it.

And what about THIS now? Well, at the risk of being called negative, it could be a little better, actually. I could do without the terrible weather today. I could do without the forecast of snow. I could do with a little more zen, and a little less everything else.

But I won't go into all that now. There's always something better around the corner, anyway.


Mnmom said...

If they love them like I did, you'll be reading snippets out loud again and again for years. Although my efforts were strong, I could never get the twins interested in those books. They DID enjoy Laura's revenge on Nellie Olson but didn't much care after that. Lina is a bit more into it but still not with the passion I had. Sigh.

Dawn said...

Four and six is definitely old enough. We are nearly finished with On the Shores of Silver Lake, and my kids can't get enough. Not sure what we'll do when we are done! It has been such a great teaching tool, when I-17 was closed when we were in AZ, we had to take a 120 mile detour (!!! we were only 45 miles from our destination!!!), and stopped for lunch in this little cafe in the middle of no where. There were all sorts of antique kitchen and household items ALL OVER the walls. The kids were tired and bored from the car ride, but we spent a pleasant meal identifying items that Ma and Laura might have used and talking about what they were for, and why they might need them... So many instances of this sort of thing, and so many life lessons. When the kids don't want to clean up or do other chores, we talk about the work the Laura and Almanzo had to do as kids, and how it is our job to take care of our family just like they did. I liked the books as a kid, but I love them even more now that I am sharing them with my own kids. Definitely the favorite books I have read with the kids, and I can't imagine surpassing them!

Mom/Nonna said...

And hopefully one summer weekend you can make the drive to DeSmet, SD or Burr Oak, Iowa and take in the displays and the pageants! I wish I still had the Little House sunbonnets Nana made for the three of you after our trip to DeSmet! You looked so cute and had so much fun pretending you were Laura and Mary and Rose (was that the third one's name?)

Shannon said...

@Mom: Baby Carrie.