Wednesday, November 9, 2011

my maria

hand churned butter by katrina and kate

Maria and I have been working our way slowly through Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy for the past few weeks. I wanted to read her the Little House books, but can't find them in the library here. The closest I could get was Wilder's book narrating a year in the life of her husband's childhood. I wasn't sure if Maria would tolerate a long book about a little boy, especially since chapter books with few illustrations are very new to her. To my surprise, she's really into it. To my even greater surprise, I am really into it too. It's so much more fun than reading Curious George (for the 73rd time). I think I must have refused to read this book as a child because it was about a boy, but it's been a real treat as an adult. I'm fascinated by the way the Wilders lived and parented and churned butter. Every night after reading, I report back to Richard and update him on what homemade wonder the Wider family accomplished that evening. He's polite, but I would guess that he's not terribly interested in hearing about Mother Wilder churning 500 pounds of butter. But Christine is. It's really nice having another woman around. She was so interested, in fact, that she related the news to some of the youth. Kate and Katrina turned up at girls group last night with a small batch of hand-churned butter for me. exclamation point. !

So Maria and I are learning about old fashioned farm life and enjoying our lessons immensely. And Maria is also participating in her parents' missionary endeavors. Frankly, she's doing a better job of it. She's far more natural, unabashed, persistant. She's begun proselytizing her preschool teachers. We didn't put her up to this - we had no idea it was going on. When I fetched her earlier this week, one of her teachers had that look on her face - the look that says "Wait until I tell you what your child did today!" (I am very accustomed  to seeing that look after an adult spends any amount of time with Maria). Apparently Maria has been taking a census of her Montessori teachers to discover who amongst them goes to church and who does not. This particular teacher had responded in the negative, "No, Maria, I'm afraid I do not go to church." 
"Why not?"
"Well, I'm not sure. I guess I haven't found a church I like."
"Oh. Well, you could come to our church. And you could sit with us. 
But it's not as nice as our church in America."
(Someone please tell Fr. Howard. And please, no one tell Fr. Michael. Or tell him, but leave out that last little bit)
I didn't know whether to feel slightly apologetic or in awe of my daughter. I decided on the latter. The teacher, who is an absolutely lovely woman, wasn't offended at all and laughed as she shared the conversation, but added that she had spent the rest of the afternoon occasionally wondering why she didn't go to church. Maria, completely unaware of the depths of soul into which she had plunged her beloved instructor, blissfully returned home, drank some strawberry milk and began rehearsing to play Mary again in the school pageant. No, she has not been assigned the role yet, but it's good to have your skills sharp just in case. And who can resist practicing with a living prop?