In Little Town on the Prairie, Laura Ingalls tells with typical candor how she got herself into trouble by the careless use of words. After Laura is thoroughly embarrassed and ashamed of her loose tongue, her mother writes a short poem in Laura’s journal:
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where
That little poem is well worth committing to memory – and of sharing with our children.
Reading that chapter aloud to my five-year-old provided a shared experience for us in which we felt the weight and force of those wise words. It created a context for us to discuss words written well over 100 years ago that are perhaps even more apropos today than they were when penned in 1881.
Do you have old books that you love reading and discussing with your children?