Sunday, May 13, 2012

Caroline Ingalls and My Mom

I have a habit of referring to my family members (on this blog, at least) by literary or movie nicknames.  The sister next to me in age goes by Anne-girl, as many of you know, and I've tagged my three other younger siblings with the names of Molly (from Wives and Daughters), Laura (from Little House on the Prairie) and Jerry (from So Dear to my Heart).   I do this because I want to be able to refer to my family members on my blog, but when I first started blogging, I didn't want to use anyone's real names.  Since then, I've started using my own first name on this blog, but I kept the other pseudonyms because they're fun to use.  But I never gave my parents any alternate names, simply because it's easy enough for me to refer to them as Mom and Dad without worrying about privacy. :D

If I were to give my mom a name from a period drama/historical movie, however, I'd most likely refer to her as Caroline Ingalls, because personality-wise, that's who my mom reminds me of...not to mention the fact that Mom bears a startling resemblance to Karen Grassle on the TV series.  :) Now, before I get into my explanation of all the reasons why Mom is like Ma Ingalls, I'd like to just point out that I'm referring to the Ma of the books and not of the TV show.  Because Ma in the TV show is, to put it bluntly, a  bit of a wimp.  (Apologies to all fans of The Michael Landon Show--er, Little House on the Prairie.)  And my mom, peoples, is not a wimp.

The real Caroline Ingalls (it's CaroLINE Ingalls, Michael Landon, not CaroLYN Ingalls) was an incredibly strong woman.  She moved practically all over the mid-and-north-western United States with her family, raised four daughters on the frontier, lost a baby son, held her family together through malaria and scarlet fever, survived prairie fires, river crossings and blizzards, scrimped and saved to send her eldest daughter to a college for the blind and did I mention that she moved about a dozen times?  In a covered wagon? I told you she was amazing.  

My mom has also moved many times in her life (though not in a covered wagon) and is currently raising four daughters and a son, gave up a career in malaria research to homeschool her children, is active in nursing home ministry, supports her husband (my amazing dad) in everything he does, is halfway through a rather arduous teaching career (anyone else who has attempted to explain math concepts to yours truly will understand), is one of my two constant examples of how to lead a Christlike life, and has been there for me, listening, understanding, hugging, advising, correcting, disciplining, teaching, encouraging, inspiring and loving for seventeen years.  

Maybe she's not fighting prairie fires or building a log cabin in Wisconsin, but my mom has that kind of inner strength exemplified in women like The Real Caroline Ingalls.  My mom has the kind of ladylike grace that I want to have someday.  My mom is not afraid to get her hands dirty, to do the unpleasant tasks in life.  My mom has taught me more things than I could possibly count, starting with "how to eat with a spoon", continuing through "how to do long division" and is currently working on "how to plan a meal and give yourself enough time to plan it so you're not rushing around to serve a very late dinner to your family."  (Ahem.)  My mom has been there for me during the happy times and the sad ones, encouraged me through thick and thin, devoted countless hours to Extra Tutoring Time (she knows what I'm talking about) when I was in middle school, listened to my hopes and dreams and aspirations (yep, there she is the expert), showed me by example what it is to dedicate one's life to Christ and what it means to truly give of yourself to your family.

Also, she introduced me to Jane Austen.  (I had to stick that in there, you KNOW I did.)

Happy Mother's Day, Mommy.  I love you so much.

From my first moment you gave me wings
Helped me fly and believed in my dreams
From my first moment you changed me so
The journey through life would be hard without you.
You gave me all I have and all I know.
From my first moment you were there
In your arms lay the strength I now bear
From that first moment each day I have you
The seasons, they change, but the heart stays the same
You gave me all I have and all I know.
~S. Babenia



Alexandra said...

Beautiful post, Amy!!! Loved it.

And I LOL'd about the Michael Landon Show. I'm afraid my bros and I spend a good deal of the show...erm...laughing. :-P The number of times they would be like, "No one can do this-and-this" and one of the boys pipe up, "But Pa can!" Not to mention the number of times Pa had his shirt buttoned down to there - seriously, Pa? SERIOUSLY?!

And amen. It is CaroLINE. Heheheee. And YES!!! She is not a wimp!!! The real Ma, I mean. The show Ma is. :-P

Anyway. Loved it. Lovely post. :)

Miss Dashwood said...

Heeheehee. The funny thing is that I actually do like LHOTP... but it sure is fun to make fun of. :P And I KNOW. The shirt thing drives me nuts. Seriously, buddy, button it up. Puh-leese. This is the eighteen seventies, not the nineteen seventies.

Also, happy birthday. :D

Rachel Heffington said...

Love it, Amy-dearest! :) I have to admit that I agreed with every point regarding the Michael Landon show. They went wrong beginning with Pa being Beardless and brown-eyed. :D Happy Mother's Day to Mrs. Amy-dearest! :D

Lauren said...

So beautiful, Amy! I really enjoyed this:-) Moms are amazing.

Jill said...

Thank you my precious daughter. All five of you are my blessings from the Lord.

Jessica said...

I never thought of Ma as a wimp on the show. Haha In what ways were you referring to?

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

This was a very lovely tribute to your "Ma"! I hope she had a Happy Mother's Day! You m'dear Mouse are a very special young lady so I know your mom must be quite a remarkable lady! It's neat that she looks like Karen Grassle too. :)

Caroline Ingalls was indeed an incredibly strong woman, I had quite forgotten all the hard things she went through in her life. When I think of her travelling all over in a covered wagon I wonder how on earth she did it and reminds me how pampered most Americans are today driving our cars and buying houses that have carpeting and linoleum instead of dirt floors!

Lovely post! :)

Anonymous said...

Awww, such a sweet post!! =)

Anonymous said...

I loved 'Little House on the Prairie', but Carolyn Ingalls was inappropriately drawn as a total wimp. She shivered and shook at the slightest dilemma and would come running to plant a big kiss on Charles (Carol Brady style on 'The Brady Bunch') whenever Charles would come back from hunting for game or whatever. As far as I know, pioneer women were very strong and resilient to adversity. Anyway, this was one of the finest family-viewing shows ever produced, and definitely Michael Landon's best work by far.

My Name: Tracy Winters... please post my name publically. Thank you.