Some people live their lives with the thought "What would Jesus do?" always in their minds. I prefer to think, "What would Caroline Ingalls do?" I'm a huge fan of all things Little House on the Prairie. HUGE. I have all the books in hardback, thanks to Tiffany Myers, and I own the entire TV series on DVD, thanks to my fabulous husband. I dream of visiting all of the sites described in the books, and I really hope some day Lottie loves the books as much as I do. I have devoured everything I could find about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family, and until recently, I have identified with Laura. As I get older, I tend to think of myself as Caroline Ingalls, Ma to Mary, Laura, Carrie, and Grace. (There was no Albert in real life, you know. He didn't kill Mary and Adam's baby by accidentally burning down the blind school or become addicted to morphine. Sorry to burst your bubble.)
Ma was the perfect prairie wife and mother. She supported Pa when he needed to head West to get away from the growing crowds of settlers, and she was a patient mother to her girls. Caroline cooked, cleaned, took care of livestock, dealt with famine and locusts, and even helped Charles build their homes. During one of her stints as a carpenter, a huge log fell on Ma's leg and hobbled her. She soaked her leg in scalding hot water, wrapped it up tightly with rags, and went about her business. She still cooked, cleaned, cared for the children, and did all the usual prairie woman stuff. I'm sure she probably managed to fit in a bit of mending as well. And she did this all with no Tylenol, no Percocet...not even Bayer aspirin.
This particular scene is on my mind because I'm having my surgery tomorrow, and I'll be hobbled, too. Well, perhaps I won't be exactly hobbled, but my right arm will be in a sling for a while. I wonder if I'll be as industrious as Ma was. I have a feeling I'll be too doped up and sore to do much other than lie on the couch or recliner and catch up on all the "Real Housewives of..." episodes that are on the DVR. And I'll be doing that in my brick home with plenty of bedrooms, real mattresses, and air conditioning. Of course, I'll also have Trevor playing the role of Pa, but he's definitely an enlightened Pa. He'll fluff my pillows, bring me soup, and put my needs before his. I hope I can even convince him to wash my hair when I'm allowed to shower.
So, I doubt I'll be twisting a lot of sticks of hay, grinding wheat to make bread, making buttonholes, or gently admonishing my children in the next few days. I also know I won't be typing, either, but if Caroline Ingalls could survive without a MacBook Pro, so can I. For a few days, at least.