I often wonder if having a novelist for a mother will make for interesting stories later on. (Hopefully not told to my son’s therapist…) My son is now 5, and there is one thing I have foisted upon him–reading.

I don’t give him a lot of choice when it comes to reading time. It’s like eating vegetables or bedtime. Not a lot of negotiation room. I call him to “the big bed” and we cuddle up with a quilt and some pillows, and I read him a couple or three chapters of whatever book we happen to be reading. Once we get reading, he thoroughly enjoys it, although it’s not easy for a 5 year-old boy to sit still. But I think that is also a useful skill to learn. Sometimes when we sit still, the best stories happen!

We just finished Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods, a story about a family living out in the wilds of North America. Ma, Pa, Laura, Mary and Baby Carrie moved through their daily routines, tugging us all along by our heartstrings. The book ended with Laura in bed next to her sister Mary, listening to her Pa play his fiddle by the fire. He plays “Auld Lang Syne” and when she calls sleepily from the bedroom, wondering the meaning of the words, he says that I means “a long time ago.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder and her husband Almanzo. 1885

Laura Ingalls Wilder and her husband Almanzo. 1885

The irony, of course, is that this story is more than a story of “When I was little.” It’s a story that happened almost 150 years ago. It is most certainly a story from long, long ago, and the Ingalls family have been preserved, frozen in time, so that the rest of us could fall in love with them, too.

Shall auld acquaintance be forgot,
And the days of Auld Lang Syne?

This week is Mother’s Day. As a mother, I hope that all those family times spent together will be sealed into my son’s memory, but we can’t all be blessed with children who write a whole series of novels about the warmest, sweetest childhood memories. (Seriously, who doesn’t feel like Ma Ingalls was part of their family after reading those books?) But we can still create memories.

So let’s just love the ones God gave us –our children, our spouses, our friends, our families– and love them so well that if they wrote novels about us years from now, remembering the good old days, that the strongest thing to shine through in those stories would be how much we loved them.

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