Like many moms, after I brought my daughter home from the hospital I often thought of all those special things we would share together in our mother-daughter relationship. This included things such as shopping sprees where I would watch her try on dress after dress and spa days filled with manicures and pedicures. I also was excited to share with her my hobbies and interests.
One hobby, in particular, I hope she grows to enjoy is the love of reading.
I have always been an avid reader, even as a child, and there is one series in particular that fueled my passion. A classic that almost every person in America is familiar with whether from the hit TV show of the ’70s or the books specifically. These books tell the story of hardships and triumphs, family, and adventure. We learn so much from the perspective of a young girl, and one from a young man’s. Even though they are based in a time long ago, they are still relatable today with their plots of young bullies, Christmas wishes, and the ventures of friends.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m referencing the classic Little House books written by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Little House Books
Anyone who personally knows me is aware of my “slight” obsession with Laura Ingalls Wilder. Of course, I read the Little House books as a child and then revisited them again in my 20s. And since then I have read many books both fiction and non-fiction, regarding Laura Ingalls Wilder- her life, writing career, and even those written by and about her own daughter Rose Wilder Lane.
I collect various versions of the box series and have visited the Ingalls’ Homestead in De Smet, South Dakota. This “interest” even drove me to spend a summer volunteering at Living History Farms. And I may have gone a little over-board when I dressed my daughter as Laura Ingalls Wilder for her first Halloween. But the reason I want to share this specific literary classic with her goes much deeper.
Through these books, I believe my daughter can learn so many wholesome and wonderful life lessons. In today’s ever-changing world, I want her to see a different perspective and embrace a simpler way of life.
The Little House books teach us to love one another with intention, grace, and belonging. Through the selflessness and hospitality of Ma, we’re taught to open our homes and give, even if we don’t have much. The value placed on possessions is minimal if not nonexistent, and instead, the focus is on being with each other and helping those in need. The value of hard work is highlighted constantly. Ma openly exhibits her strength as she works alongside Pa building their home and working the land. Laura provides a model for a young girl who is brave and strong. A girl with her own mind who stands up for what she believes in.
While my husband and I strive to model these values today in our own home, having these books we can read together, that incorporate fun and friends too, will just help promote them even more. My daughter is too young now to enjoy this American classic but I so look forward to that first time we snuggle up together and begin “Little House in the Big Woods.”
Laura herself said it best; “Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat. In our mad rush for progress and modern improvements let’s be sure we take along with us all the old-fashion things worthwhile.”