Sharing Laura

Can you believe it’s been a month and a half since LauraPalooza? I had such a terrific time. It was even a reunion for me, seeing everyone I had met at LauraPalooza 2010 and have gotten to know through Beyond Little House and Facebook. It was a busy three days, but I still found the time to learn new Laura tidbits and do a little visiting too.

Besides all of that, I was able to experience it all with my daughter.

Now, like many other parents who grew up loving Laura and her Little House books, I had hoped to pass that love on to my daughter, Jamie, or my son, Jon, who came along eight years later. As is the case with so many others, it just wasn’t to be. While Jamie read the books and enjoyed them, she just never caught the bug. And Jon? I quickly learned that he was just like his father and grandfathers, which I’m quite sure is why he enjoyed when I read Farmer Boy to him. Smart as a whip, but one who would more likely take something apart to see how it works before he would sit long enough to read a book.  I learned to accept it over time. I began to have hope for the grandchildren that I hope to one day be blessed with.

For her part, Jamie has gone along with all of it. She’s been to Rocky Ridge, Little House on the Prairie, the Musical, Laura Ingalls Wilder (a small scale musical), and has listened to me tie more situations to Little House than she cares to remember. Back when she was just seven years old, in 1987, and (I had hoped) on the road to becoming a full-fledged member of the club (club = Laura Ingalls Wilder enthusiasts), I very excitedly took her to see William Anderson, the noted Laura Ingalls Wilder biographer, when he was presenting a talk at our local museum. I was sure that she and I were beginning a journey together.

She had other literary interests though. As she became older, it became quite obvious that Harper Lee, Charles Dickens and later Shakespeare would take precedence for her over my beloved Laura and every book about her that I had been devouring over the years. How could I complain though? She had chosen worthwhile competition!

As some of you who knew me back during LauraPalooza 2010 may remember, my husband, Jim, was one of the few husbands accompanying his wife. He was even interviewed for the local paper because the reporter had picked him out as one of the only men at the Ice Cream Social. We stayed in the dorms too and, while he didn’t sit through every single presentation, he was there most of the time.

This time around, as Nancy Cleaveland so cleverly pointed out, Jamie lost the coin toss. 🙂 She, and not my husband, came with me to LauraPalooza 2012. But for me, it was by far the best mother/daughter trip I could have asked for. The last three years have been bumpy at times since Jamie moved back home from out of state, but finally things have smoothed out and fallen into place, a good place. Back when Jamie offered to come with me, we didn’t know that she would be buying a condo and moving out this summer. Even though she lives just five miles from me now, I kind of consider this trip to have been a last hurrah. Not that there won’t be more trips (we hope), but this one became a celebration of sorts and time spent together before she moved into her own place.

I have to say that I’m pretty sure that Jamie had almost as good a time as I did! I told her from the beginning that she was not obligated to be at the conference at every moment and that she did not have to help with the Silent Auction as I had already offered to do. But she was there the whole time and pitched right into Silent Auction work where she was a great help. I’m not surprised though because that’s just the way Jamie is.

And you know what? After the conference ended on Saturday and Jamie and I headed out of town and towards Pepin, we talked Laura. And I was happy.

Posted in Cultural Impact, LauraPalooza 2010: Legacies, LauraPalooza 2012
One comment on “Sharing Laura
  1. Donna Shaw says:

    Great post, Laura!!!