I spent this past month reading Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery. Without really realizing it, I chose the perfect book to close out a month of reflection on parenting, Anne is really in the thick of things in raising her brood and all her children have their own little adventures that are truly delightful.
As I am here in my own parenting adventures, there are a few pieces of this book that really stood out to me.
Toward the beginning of the book, Anne gives birth to the last Blythe baby. As Anne’s time nears, the children are sent out to various neighbors to stay so that Anne can have the care that she needs. The children come home, completely surprised that there is a new baby in the family. It is difficult for me to fathom living through an experience like pregnancy without telling my children about it. It made me very grateful to live in a more open time.
Throughout the book, the children face various calamities. Walter thinks his parents don’t love him anymore when he is sent away prior to Rilla’s birth. Jem learns the heartbreak that comes with loving someone who doesn’t love you back. Di learns that not everyone is completely honest. While this is proving to be difficult for me, I appreciated Anne’s example of taking her children’s concerns seriously even when she found their concerns to be hysterical.
Toward the end of the book, Anne starts feeling invisible to Gilbert. After years of marriage, she feels tired and unappreciated. I think this is a feeling we can all relate to, I certainly can. As the weeks pass it finally comes to a head and Anne realizes that Gilbert is feeling the exact same way. I think that is also something we can relate to. It is hard work to see outside yourself, but for any relationship to be successful we have to be able to see beyond ourselves.
What are some fictional books that have helped you through your parenting journey?