“Which character do you want to be?” My sisters and I would ask each other after watching Little Women and reenacting the parts of the book for the 100th time. Nobody wanted to be snooty Amy or moody Beth. Well, Beth was ok up until the death scene. Meg was okay too, but she was so prissy and Marmy was cool and wise, but the truth was we all wanted to be Jo.
Jo had ambition and tenacity. She knew how to talk to boys and she was willing to travel on her own to New York City to as Marmy said, “go, embrace her liberty and see what great things come of it.”
“Although I don’t know how I will survive without my Jo.”
This book is more about change and the nostalgia of home than anything else.
Amy says, “we are all going to grow up some day, we might as well know what we want.”
Beth, “Why does everyone want to go away, why can’t things just stay as they are?”
“Go, and embrace your liberty and see what great things come of it.”
As we have prepared our children for moving to a new town, school,and home, I recognize each persona in them and myself.
Our beautiful home, where first steps were walked and the stomach flu ensued. Where reindeer food was sprinkled out on the walk and the home sparkled with Christmas splendor. Where stories were unfolded and my children were safe to grow and learn and run. “Maybe we can take our home with us?” Our middle daughter said.
We have been upfront and honest with our kids from the beginning about the possibility of moving. They were never kept in the dark. We invited them to imagine moving before they were told they were going to move.
We hug a lot. We remind them that as long as we are together that is all that matters. That our family story stays our story as long as we are a family.
Our wonderful friends. We walk into the library, grocery store, bank and see a friend or know the teller. We are connected to our community and we love our friends. How do we say “goodbye”? We don’t. We say “thank you.” We say “see you soon.” I have lived long enough now to realize that all relationships that matter come back around. That our storylines are like yarn through a tapestry. They may disappear from behind the picture, but they will reveal themselves again. Our relationships make us who we are and we carry the people we love with us. Always.
I hope I am like Marmy and can encourage my children to embrace their liberty. I hope I can send them off to a new school, even a junior high, with all of the belief in the world that they are ready for the next great adventure. I hope I can give them the assurance that they can always, always come home and that home is wherever there is a feeling of love and safety.
Where good books are read and bread is baked and a candle is burning.