Jo’s Book

Way back in 2008 I blogged a series called green about envy. On the last day I revealed a notebook I used for a gratefulness journal. Oh the joys of a Sharpie gliding across the lush pages of a snazzy journal.

Origami made by my son. The green swan used to be an envious ugly duckling.

Way back a long time ago before that I learned the meaning of the word unabridged. I felt gypped. How could anyone dare defile the original intent of the precious words of an author? That very day I went to the library and looked for the unabridged version of ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott. From that day forward I accepted no substitutes. Being that Alcott ranked number one, at the time, in my long ‘favorite authors’ list I diligently read every book in the library by this esteemed woman.

During that stint of Alcott immersion a practice found in the life of the character named Jo stuck with me. I tucked it away and kept it for the ‘someday’ when I would be married and have children of my own.

That journal I started in 2008 got about half way full. I put it away, for a time. Last year, as family and friends, we began writing what we are thankful for on the wall in our home. Then around the beginning of December I ran across this glass-half-full journal. As I thumbed through the pages I saw sweet Jo at her writing desk and the images of the tucked away practice returned to my mind as the first time I read about it.

SPOILER ALERT! (If you have not had the joy of reading Little Women and Little Men then you might want to wait to read the rest of this post. Really, I don’t mind. This post can wait for you to get done reading the gems. If you have an e-reader you can get the books here free:

Jo March married the good Professor Bhaer, much to my chagrin; I wanted her to be with the passionate Teddy. She inherited her Aunt’s big old house, Plumfield. She and the professor started a school. Every so often Jo sits down with a journal and writes down admirable things she sees in her pupils. She then finds a quiet moment to share these observations with the young ones to encourage them.

I wanted to start doing that with my family. So I re-purposed the rest of those snazzy pages and started right away. I write down what I admire about my husband and my children. Then I read aloud to each one individually what my own hand has written, from my heart to theirs. The reminders help me appreciate each one. They feel good as I choose to see the good, and in turn tell them about it. I write with green ink, my favorite color for my favorite people.

Secretly, I hope to be able to do this, also, for the Lifetime Dreamers. Someday.



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