"Last autumn I decided to return for the first time in two decades to a book I once loved: Little Women. I have fond memories of Meg, Beth, Amy, and the sister I identified most with, Jo.
As a teen the hopes and ambitions of these young women captured my imagination. How would life turn out for them? Would they find the men of their dreams? Would Laurie end up with Jo? I had my eye on a certain boy at the time myself (he’s now my husband ) and the girls’ romantic notions fit my own.
Reading the novel as a 36-year-old, however, was a new experience. This time my focus turned toward the awe-inspiring mother, Marmee. After all, I’m in the midst of raising my brood just as she did.
Her four daughters had vastly different opinions in almost every area of life, but they agreed on one thing–their love and near adoration for their mother:
“Glad to find you so merry, my girls,” said a cheery voice at the door, and actors and audience turned to welcome a tall, motherly lady, with a “can-I-help-you” look about her which was truly delightful.”
I aspire to this same level of love and friendship, admiration and respect with my children as they mature. How did Marmee manage to keep her children’s hearts during their adolescence, and how can we adapt her strategies to our 21st century lives?"