Meg, Jo, Beth, or Amy?

Little Women is one of my favorite books, and as I watch Bella-girl toddle around our home, I will often catch glimpes of each of the girls in that book, and I wonder what her little personality will bring.

Will she be a Meg, responsible for helping out in our home and the moral compass for her siblings? Yet vain and concerned about her clothes and looks? Will she know that true worth lies within and not in riches or appearances? She’s already learning that hand-me-downs are fine to wear, and those second hand shops have some adorable clothes, I might add. She cleans out the dishwasher every day with me, and “helps” sweep the floor with the boys every day. What I love the most is how she gets so excited to help, and I pray that gift will be cultivated in her heart more and more.

I can totally picture Bella as a Jo, the outspoken tomboy with a passion for writing. Perhaps because that was me as a girl. Will she speak her mind quickly, then regret it later? Will she follow her brothers through thick and thin, climb trees, hit home runs in wiffle ball and shun Barbies for G.I. Joes? Audrey is obsessed with markers and will scramble to grab the ones her brothers drop on the floor. She loves to pull the tops on and off and her fingers are often stained with ink. She throws a ball like a pro and loves to drive her brothers’ cars; however, she shies away from the touch of grass and would rather sit and watch them run than join in the chase.

So I wonder if she will be the nurturer, caring for her brothers’ cuts and bruises with the tenderness of a nurse? I guess that would be the Beth…quiet and kind who loves music, playing the piano and looking after her dolls. Beth cares for others and has a heart for giving… but it is costly. I can see that in Bella as well. Already, she is tender with her dolls and loves to snuggle stuffed animals. She will gently take her doll to the rocking chair, climb up and rock her all the while “ooooing” over her. She loves music with a passion, dancing and clapping her hands no matter where or when she hears its strains. I don’t like to think about the cost part… because I want to see her take risks in caring for others, but I don’t want to see her hurt, even though I know that struggles in life are inevitable.

Then I tremble at the thought of her becoming an Amy, the youngest sister and a talented artist; however, she is spoiled and tends to throw tantrums when things don’t go her way. She’s beautiful and wordly, but thankfully, ends up learning wisdom and compassion. With her princess wave and penchant (already!) for picking out pink dresses in her closet, Bella has the makings of a diva. She has a bit of the fiery temper to match her red hair, and her daddy and I think she is positively gorgeous, but especially in a culture obsessed with beauty, that’s a scary thing.

I want to be a good role model for her, the mother who lives happily in her body and doesn’t succumb to society’s messed-up standards of attractiveness and physical perfection. Yet, like it or not, I do succumb. No matter what I’ve put on, I will inevitably turn to see just what the side view looks like. I often don’t even know what I’m looking for, I just do it–it’s almost a ritual. And since it’s mostly an unconscious action, I’m sure Audrey has seen me do it. And the first time I catch her doing it, it will break my heart.

As I look at my sweet daughter, I realize she’ll be Bella, not Meg, Joe, Beth or Amy, and it will be the perfect personality for her. And like Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, she will have life lessons to learn no matter what that personality is. I want her to learn those life lessons, even though they will be hard. I pray for those qualities that are best for her… for understanding, wisdom, gratitude, talent, contentment, compassion, thoughtfulness, love, and so many more. But I know that mingled with those qualities will be the ones with which she will struggle… anger, vanity, pride, thoughtlessness, selfishness, discontent, and others.

She will not be perfect, but she will be perfectly Bella, and that is good. And I will do everything in my power to make sure that my sweet girl knows who she is even when what she sees in the mirror is different from how she feels.

One response to “Meg, Jo, Beth, or Amy?”

  1. Leah Kirkpatrick Avatar
    Leah Kirkpatrick


    I hadn’t been to your sight before, and enjoyed reading your reflections on your little ones, especially the Little Women entry about Audrey. In the midst of this all, I’m sure that the day to day events of being with the children become that much more precious and poignant. I pray the Lord would use them to be a source of light and joy and normalcy for both you and Brian.



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