Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Man of the Family by Ralph Moody

I have been reading Little Britches with the kids so I was drawn to read this next book in the series. I had read them a couple of years ago and have been enjoying them just as much the second time around so they are truly a classic in my family. I love the real life principles that Ralph teaches through remembering his childhood. He had to grow up fast in the early 1900's when his father died. He was only 11, but was able to keep his family together and thriving by devising odd jobs and working hard. My boys have felt a kinship to Little Britches because he does things that they have been known to do. At one point my 9 year old son Cody said,"I know what he's going to do next, Mom. He always says that right before he does the wrong thing." It has had my boys thinking about character, and honor. My husband has recently read these books also, and he said that they confirmed a life lesson that he had been learning in his Louis L'Amour books, that there are only two kinds of men; honest ones, and dishonest ones. We have the next two books in the series and I am excited to read them. So far they have been full of decisions based on right and wrong. Their family makes life altering changes because they would not do something that would hurt someone else. I want my family to have those values.
Ralph's mother in the book is a good example to mothers. She perseveres through tough times without complaining or making it hard on others. She does her best and more. Her kids admire her, and want to do all they can to help her and to honor her. She does not lose her temper even in times that I am sure I would not be able to stay calm. I have wondered as I have read these books, how she kept such peace in her home. I think that she let the little things go and focused on the big things though not with so much focus that she lost sight of the bigger picture. What an admirable woman. Yesterday I saw my son run outside with his socks on. He knows that is wrong but was not thinking of that at the time. It made me wonder how Ralph's mother would have handled it. It seems that Ralph did everything he could to make his mother happy and proud. Would he have worn his socks outside on the dirt for his mother to wash? Would his mother just have let it go, and focused on the larger picture? I don't know. I let it go, and thought about how soon my boys will be gone and their dirty socks with them. That will be a sad day and I will be glad that I did not scold my son more often than was truly necessary.
Ralph did become the man of the family at a young age. His mother grateful and did all she could do also. I am thankful for the prosperity that my family has compared to what they had, but I am envious of the complete unity that they shared. Maybe if I read this book aloud to my family enough some of it will rub off!

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like a realy fun series to read, I think I would have been upset about the socks too, I am glad to hear you let it go. I hope you let him know in a loving way though, that he did forget to honor you with not getting his socks dirty. Reminding him to honor you and punishing for not honoring you can have two completely different effects. I know what its like to forget important things like honoring someone elses requests, when you are just in a "hurry moment" to get something done, and you completely space your responsibility, how bad it feels to realize you hurt someone else by doing it. Being scolded for it would hurt even worse, but just a little loving reminder from you may have been just enough to give him that little guilty feeling, still knowing how much you love him, and it would make him remember to honor you more. I hope that makes sense. Lovingly reminding him of his responsibilities could make him want to honor you more, whereas punishing for not keeping his responsibilities could have an opposite effect, and possibly turn him towards being even less responsible and just holding anger towards the situation, which could lead to him doing it with other things too. By choosing a more calm and peaceful approach to it, you will be telling him what you want and releasing it, giving him the opportunity to grow from his mistake, rather than holding on to it. : )