This afternoon Sophie and I attended our fourth neighborhood "Mother & Daughter Book group." We began these little gatherings last summer as a way to share our love for the classics we treasured as young girls with our own daughters. Today's discussion, followed by the brilliantly casted movie, was Anne of Green Gables, truly one of the most inspiring and tender books ever written. I remember reading it out loud to Caroline when she was about Sophie's age, and then a few years later watching her become completely engaged in Anne's antics and imagination once again as she read it on her own a couple of years later. I still own the same copy of the book that I read as a girl and vividly remember finding myself (along with my friend Rachel) so engrossed in Anne's life on Prince Edward Island that we would act out parts of the book . . . even cutting off pieces of our hair to give to each other as a token of our friendship, and to this day I still refer to my dearest of friends as "kindred spirits." Caroline just finished Anne of Avonlea (the sequel), however, she stopped attending these discussions because she realized all the other little girls hovered around the age of 8, so that's all it took for her to boycott the outings. She did, however, love our very first group when we read and discussed Little Women (with some older girls) - she truly learned so many lessons from Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Not to mention the insights I gained into motherhood by listening closely to the wisdom so freely offered by patient Marmee.
It is no wonder that one of my greatest joys right now is sharing these treasured books with my own children. Maybe that's the reason I was blessed with three girls - we're already planning our trip to P.E.I. as soon as Liza can read the book! Anyway, after the discussion we all gathered to watch the movie together. It doesn't matter how many times I've seen this film, it's a classic. It's one of those rare films that captures the book's characters and scenery so beautifully through it's music and cinematography that you just relish every delightful minute. It was a pleasure to just spend time with my Sophie, cuddled on a couch, giggling at Anne's gregarious and stubborn nature, while watching her grow and mature into a bright, talented, and strong young woman. I can't think of a more poignant, sweet message for our daughters.