“At nine o’clock every morning you will read aloud one half-hour to me. Before that you will use the time to put this room in order. Wednesday and Saturday forenoons, after half-past nine, you will spend with Nancy in the kitchen, learning to cook. Other mornings you will sew with me. That will leave the afternoons for your music. I shall, of course, procure a teacher at once for you,” she finished decisively, as she arose from her chair.
Pollyanna cried out in dismay.
“Oh, but Aunt Polly, Aunt Polly, you haven’t left me any time at all just to…to live.”
“To live, child! What do you mean? As if you weren’t living all the time!”
“Oh, of course I’d be breathing all the time I was doing those things, Aunt Polly, but I wouldn’t be living. You breathe all the time you’re asleep, but you aren’t living. I mean living doing the things you want to do: playing outdoors, reading (to myself, of course), climbing hills, talking to Mr. Tom in the garden, and Nancy, and finding out all about the houses and the people and everything everywhere all through the perfectly lovely streets I came through yesterday. That’s what I call living, Aunt Polly. Just breathing isn’t living!”
― Eleanor Porter, Pollyanna
What is the result, when our children are allowed “just to live”? Click here to read some thoughts written last week by my daughter, Anna Miriam Brown.