I'm child number eight, out of eleven kids. Born smack in the middle of six boys. By the time I was nine, the oldest kids, including all of my sisters, were out of the house, on their own, hundreds of miles away.
It was me, mom, and the boys (including dad). We all had to Help Mommy, or she would have collapsed under the volume of laundry she faced daily. Smelly boy laundry.
This was one of my very favorite books. How wildly traditional, repressed, and stereotypically un-feminist of me. But the book helped bring me along the road to equality, too. I remember thinking "Hmm, where are the boys when I need someone to hold the dustpan?" Gosh, I loved this book! I think I loved it because I loved my mommy. And because it inspired me to help my mommy (hey, now that I think about it, I smell a rat!). And because of the beautiful illustrations. I looked at that pudgy little blond girl and saw myself. And she was good.
I'm going online now. Must. Have. Warmandfuzzypieceofchildhood.
Thanks to Jean Cushman (author), Eloise Wilkin (Illustrator) and Cynthia Smoot (photo credit).
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