For those that know me well, it is no secret that I love books and that reading is one of my favorite activities. I read as much as possible, which is definitely more difficult now that I have kids than it was BK (before kids). As a little girl, I was a definite fan of series like The Babysitters Club, Nancy Drew, Anne of Avonlea, and many others. At the top of the list, however, was The Little House on the Prairie series. When visiting my parents the other day, I found my Little House series on a bookshelf, and was instantly struck with the joyful fact that I now have a daughter I can share them with! I then debated over whether or not Eila is too young, because at 3 1/2, that was certainly something I had to consider.
I decided to bring them home with me and as I gathered them up, Eila asked me about them and wanted to look at a couple of the books in the car. I gave her the first book and laughed as she began to thumb through it, questioning where all the pictures were. She was excited when she discovered that there is an illustration every few pages and began to ask me about some of the pictures. I talked with Will about perhaps reading the books as a family, and Eila asked if we could read part of one that night at bedtime.
We did, and a day hasn’t gone by since in which we haven’t read at least one chapter. Since starting this post (um, it was originally started the first week of September- another challenging thing to keep up with having kids!), we have read through 3 1/2 books, and Eila is loving them. She may not understand every aspect of them, but she enjoys them immensely to the point where she likes to keep them beside her bed and brings them along in the van. As a beginning homeschooler (that’s a whole ‘nother post!), I love the rich learning opportunities. The series is dripping with history, obviously, and being able to talk with Eila about life before cars, computers, and cellphones allows us to explore a whole new (old) world together. Covered wagons, prairie and farm life, wolves…it’s exciting! I love that I am learning too. There’s also science, sociology, and a solid moral/Biblical base, to name a few more.
I tend to read so much and so fast sometimes, that to my detriment, I don’t retain information as well as I would like. There is something about the illustrations and many of the stories in the Little House series, that I immediately recall as we dive into them. I look forward to reading with her each day, and I am already feeling a bit sad knowing that we will be coming to the end of them sometime in the next month or so.
Of course, there are many more wonderful books to explore together! One of my favorite parts of being a mother is getting to integrate parts of my childhood with their childhood. It’s a privilege, really.