by Danetta Kellar
Growing up, I loved Little House on the Prairie. I raced home from school each day to watch it and dream about life on the Prairie surrounded by love and wisdom, hard work and simplicity. I was Laura, and my daily braids testified to my adoration. Freckles and crooked teeth completed the picture. I might have been laughed at and bullied on the school bus, but I was Laura Ingalls on the inside, and no one could take my confidence away.
Now I am all grown up with a freckle-faced daughter of my own.
Last year we read the Little House books together and almost made it through the whole set.This Christmas morning, a gorgeous, log cabin-shaped box of the entire TV series on DVD was waiting under the tree, much to our delight. Needless to say, we are having a very Laura year.
But now it is my little girl who is identifying with Laura. It is my young dreamer who is asking to wear her hair braided and to please go without shoes. Her laughter is like joy bells as she exclaims, “Laura has my brain!"
I, on the other hand, am seeing Ma for the first time. No doubt I saw her on all those childhood TV afternoons so long ago, but she was just a calm fixture, serving in the background of Laura's exciting adventures. Certainly not someone with whom to identify. Long for, perhaps, but not understand.
Little House on the Prairie has outed me this time around.
I have grown up and moved forward into the season of life I once dreamed about. I am now a mother, a wife, a member of my community. And I am identifying not with Laura now, but with her mother.