A Book

April 21, 2010

I have a favorite children’s book. “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton. A little house is built in the country, the city encroaches, the house is abandoned and forgotten, but then found, moved, and restored by the great-great grandaughter of the builder. In the end, the city can be seen in the background, still encroaching, still polluting. The first time I read it to my youngest child, he cried and yelled: “Why did you read this to me!” I felt awful. I loved that book, especially the illustrations, and I had waited to share it with him. His reaction made me question why the book is so dear to me.

I think I love “The Little House” because it reminds me that even though there is sadness, carelessness, disregard, and pain in the world, there is always hope for an imperfect redemption, and then hope for another and another and another.

A nice thing… imperfect renewable redemption.

3 Responses to “A Book”

  1. Nona said

    Who knew? We used to sing a love song to our older son, “You are my sunshine.” But then it made him cry and cry. So we stopped. Who knew?

  2. there can always be hope for redemption, and an imperfect one is probably the best we can hope for anyway. I think there is not always time for a redemption though, which lends an immediacy to our thoughts and actions and, for me, that’s often not an attractive imperative. I really have to be nicer I think.

    it’s a lovely story though, and who knows what seed you planted in reading it to your son, in spite of his protests, that will flourish into beauty later on.


  3. Laura said

    I wonder if that notion of imperfect redemption is one that appeals more to women, similar to unrequited love, which many of us adore to read about, watch movies about etc. Perhaps even young boys have the male imperative to fix things, 100% and NOW? I don’t know – I will have to look for this book; it would be interesting to see how Jacob would respond to it…

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