Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Damn you, Laura Ingalls!!!

This week's Trifecta challenge concerns the word, juggle.  Hopefully, the story behind my entry is fairly self-explanatory.  Enjoy.

Damn you, Laura Ingalls!!!

A pioneer life,
lovingly revealed,
each night
in the soft glow of lamplight.

My young daughter's body
melts into mine,
as Pa covers Laura with blankets of fur
to keep winter's chill at bay.

Builder of homes, provider of food, protector of the family,
Laura's Pa can do anything.
That I can, too, is confirmed
by her hand reaching for mine as we read.

We are comfortable in the warmth of her pink bedroom,
flannel jammies and slippers, too.
Yet we feel the bitter winds of The Long Winter 
And thirst for sunshine,
in the starlight,
in our home.

Pa warms up the fiddle
"In the starlight, in the starlight..."
Together they sing.
Together we hug and whisper in time to Pa's tune.
We smile. Our hearts fill.
As did the Ingalls that night, so many lifetimes ago.

The bonds of family.
The foundation of Home.
Timelessly on display
in the pages of our most treasured of books.
The lessons, obvious.

Her small heart beats with vigor.
She is ever becoming Laura;
stronger, more able, more a young woman
With dreams,
..........with dreams.
With dreams that cause my heart to ache.

Pa helps Laura into Almanzo's wagon.
I stop reading aloud.
She turns,
her eyes to mine.
I has to juggle my many emotions,
managing to meekly clear my throat.
Together they watch that wagon drive away
Damn you, Laura Ingalls!

The story of family and of trails blazed across space and time
is now a road map for my daughter;
a way forward,
a yardstick for her to measure success and love.

The final pages read.
I tuck her gently under a downy comforter.
A tender kiss.
A lamp turned off.
"Daddy loves you," I say in the darkness.
"I love you, too, Daddy."

I leave the room
and her,
to her dreams,
whatever she makes them to be.


  1. You told a wonderful, poignant story here.

  2. That's sweet; and those books have been meaningful to so many people over the years!

  3. They certainly were to my daughter and I. Damn, that Almanzo!!! :)

  4. Replies
    1. p.s. especially nice, because I read those stories to my granddaughter... nothing like it.

  5. The bonds of family are everything. Lovely how you wove this together.

    1. They are, indeed. Thank you for your comment, Lumdog! I always appreciate you stopping by. :)

  6. Sweet tribute to the way reading bonds us to our kids. Nice one, Tom!

    1. Hey! When Pa helped Laura into Almanzo's wagon, it almost broke my heart. What conflicting feelings! I want my daughters to find love but, just the same, I don't want them to ever climb in that "wagon" and drive away from me, either. Wasn't counting on having those sorts of feelings reading about pioneers!!! :)

  7. that was seriously the sweetest thing I've read all week...
    I have loved Laura Ingalls since I read "Little House in the Big Woods" which is one of 5 books that I have kept all these years in their navy blue bound glory all these years. I hope that the Boys like them, even though they are about a girl.

    I love thinking of you reading to her and you each taking different things to dream about it from it. it shows the real process of parenting..

    that last line just brought tears to my eyes.

  8. Ah, that last line.........just like Pa Ingalls has to watch Laura go, I will have to do the same with my girls. That's part of parenting, I suppose but, it doesn't mean I have to like it. :) My girls will chart their own course. Hopefully, it will be filled with love and happiness for them both.

  9. Beautiful piece & though I have never heard of this book,this side of the world,but I understood the underlying emotion-well done Tom:-)

    1. Sometimes we all get caught up in our own world and think that our cultural experiences are the same as everyone else's n the world. Sometimes, when I write for Trifecta, I forget that I am writing for the world, too. The Little House on the Prairie series of books (8 in all), are among the most beloved books in North American literature. They chronicle the life of the Ingalls Family as they travel across America in the days of the pioneers, helping "to settle the West" as it were. The stories had strong family values throughout. My oldest daughter, Leah, and I read all eight books in a row this past summer. She really identified with the character named, Laura, who goes from being a small child to a young married woman by the end of the series. So, when her Pa helped her on to Almanzo's wagon, he was letting her go to start her new life with her husband. I had a hard time during this scene as Leah is still my little girl and I know that my time will come to help her into some young man's wagon and watch her drive away to a new life. Some books just mess with your heart. In any case, I am sorry for forgetting who my audience is. I apologize for writing about something with such a North American focus. Glad you liked the piece anyway. That means a lot. :)

  10. You have a beautifully warm and sweet heart - I love how you love (and write about) your girls. :)

    1. Takes one to know one, is all I can say to this. Thanks, Barbara! :)

  11. I really like this! I always admired Laura Ingalls and have been fascinated with pioneer life. How sweet that you read this with your daughters. Kids remember reading time throughout their lives so it's time well spent :)

    1. Leah has been read to just about every single day of her life. It has always been about way more than just the book we are reading at the time. Reading time is our time, no matter what. We have a bond and books have helped to create it. So, after making it through eight books, only to have Laura leave Pa hit a little close to home. So I will treasure the story time we have left. Thank you for a wonderful comment.

  12. Sweet, sweet story, Tom. I love the small detail of how her hand reached for his as they read. Shed a tear on that one. My niece used to do that when I read to her at night. She's now the age of your very talented students. I love your title, heck I love the whole thing. Very moving.

  13. You're the first person to mention the title. I, normally, don't worry about a title until I am finished and see what I have created but, in this case, I had the title right frm the get-go. Why, oh why, did Laura have to go and say to my daughter that it is ok to leave your Dad?! I know that, like Pa, I will have to let my daughters go one day but, that one day is not now so, take that, Laura Ingalls!!! :)

  14. This is such a sweet story! The bonds of family are always the best when they're strong (:

    1. That they are, Draug! That they are. Thanks for stopping by.

  15. Daddy and his girls.. Beautifully told.. Could feel the emotion..x

  16. that sent chills all over me - how beautifully and painfully portrayed from a Dad's perspective of love.

    1. I am a Dad of two daughters.......what can I tell ya!