17 Feb Me and My Boys

Little Women was one of my favorite books when I was young. The time period, the struggles, the closeness of the March family and the real life issues they encountered, gathered me in and made me feel like I belonged. I lived in those pages totally lost to time and the real world around me. Naturally, I over-identified with Jo March; the tomboy with a penchant for writing, and going against social norms. I have five sisters myself and each one of them could represent a March sister. We were poor but happy and had all the fun and drama of a home full of girls with divergent personalities.

It never occurred to me that when I had a family of my own it wouldn’t be a reenactment of my own upbringing. I had names picked out for my daughters… Aubrey, Charlotte, Emily, Autumn and Samantha (Sam). But those little girls never came and I was not to be like Marmee with my gaggle of daughters.

Instead I’m a single mother with three sons. I guess there are good reasons why Jo March didn’t marry Laurie, the family friend (even though her rejection of him caused me to throw the book across the room when I first read it.) They were meant to just stay friends. Laurie and Jo could never connect on a level that would have made a good marriage. She was better suited to an eccentric professor type and a less conventional life. I found this out for myself the hardest way possible.

While I didn’t have the daughters I expected, my sons are the most amazing humans that I know. I can’t imagine my life without them. It turns out that raising boys suits me perfectly. I enjoy the low drama and adventure that comes with having sons. Our cozy nest has an easy going atmosphere and we welcome people into it. I often board other young people who need a place to live. Currently, two of my nephews live here with us. It’s wonderful.

My life ended up to be more like a modern version of another one of Louisa May Alcott’s books, Jo’s Boys: I’m independent, writing books and living with a house full of rowdy, creative boys. But that’s okay. I always did love that book too.

*Which book or character from a book do you identify with?



Jo Schaffer
  • Jessika Stephens
    Posted at 22:41h, 20 February Reply

    Ohh I LOVED this post! I have so many book characters that I look up to or respect, but I’m not sure if I truly identify with any one character. 🙂
    It’s so true and interesting to see how things never seem to turn out the way we thought we wanted…. but somehow end up better for us in the long run!
    I love you Jo, and your awesome boys! ^_^

  • Sarah-Noel
    Posted at 03:11h, 22 February Reply

    I love this!! So true you are like JO March!! And you’re a wonderful boy mom and surrogate mom to all!!

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