Thursday, September 15, 2011

My Girls

I posted about what I have been thinking about the boys and their futures last week.  Last night we were reading our latest read aloud "Caddie Woodlawn" by Carol R. Brink.  It is the story of a pioneer girl in Wisconsin.  She is allowed, mostly by her father, to run and play and romp with her brothers.  Her mother would like her to be more of a "lady."  As she gets a little older she begins to struggle with the tension of who she is and who she wants to be and who others want her to be.

In the passage we read last night, she gets in big trouble with her mother because she and her brothers play a practical joke on their cousin from Boston.  She is sent to her room without any supper.  After everyone else is asleep, her father comes up to her room and sits on her bed.  He puts her warm hand in his cool hand and says to her the following.

It’s a strange thing, but somehow we expect more of girls than of boys. It is the sisters and wives and mothers, you know, Caddie, who keep the world sweet and beautiful. What a rough world it would be if there were only men and boys in it, doing things in their rough way! A woman’s task is to teach them gentleness and courtesy and love and kindness. It’s a big task, too, Caddie—harder than cutting trees or building mills or damming rivers. It takes nerve and courage and patience, but good women have those things. They have them just as much as the men who build bridges and carve roads through the wilderness. A woman’s work is something fine and noble to grow up to, and it is just as important as a man’s. But no man could ever do it so well.  I don’t want  you to be the silly, affected person with fine clothes and manners whom folks sometimes call a lady.  No, that is not what I want for you, my little girl.  I want you to be a woman with a wise and understanding heart, healthy in body and honest in mind.
I love this quote.  The spirit of it is what I want for my girls.  I want them to do the work that God has for them in a strong way like their mother and their grandmothers and their great-grandmothers before them.


Brian said...

Andy, I share your sentiment and I am glad you posted this.

Anonymous said...

Caddie Woodlawn is another favorite of mine. I am attracted to the strong, spunky Caddie. Maybe it's because I know that life is not for the faint hearted. One needs a lot of courage/spunk to weather what life sometimes brings. All of my granddaughters come from a long line of strong women who also realized that their help comes from the Lord. We can be thankful.

Shube said...

Molly and Lucy have a double portion of spunk---and I love it!

Abigail said...