Merry Wanderer of the Night  + [YA]

Memory Monday — Remembering Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking

I am having a hard time believing I've been writing up Memory Monday posts since last year but have yet to share my love for Pippilotta Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Ephraim's Daughter Longstocking, more commonly known as Pippi.

I remember my mom handing me her childhood copies of Pippi Longstocking and Pippi in the South Seas. She didn't give me much of an intro to the books, just told me that they were books she had read and loved as a kid, and she thought I might like them. So I read them. And I devoured them. I love them, and I read these two books over and over again. In fact, I read them so many times that the covers fell off, and then the pages started coming apart.

You see, for me, reading about Pippi's adventures wasn't just about reading the adventures of some slightly crazy girl in a book. Oh no. Pippi's adventures went much farther than that for me. You see, I wanted to be Pippi. I wanted that more than I think I had ever wanted anything before.

I wanted to be cool enough to live on my own, strong enough to carry my horse up and down the porch steps, interesting enough to have a pet monkey, and confident enough to dance around my classroom singing about plutification. (Alas, I've always cared way too much about what my teachers thought of me to be any where near that disruptive.) Oh ya, and it definitely didn't hurt that Pippi is rich as Midas either. She inherited a trunk full of gold along with her Villa from her father, whom she is convince is now king of the canibals after being swept out to sea, and she's very free with her money. She's also brilliant, being able to outsmart any adult and is wholly unconcerned with what other people think of her. She is her own person, and she is perfectly happy to be exactly who she is.

Who wouldn't want to be Pippi? She's strong, in ways that go beyond just her astounding physical strength, loyal, loving, and ridiculously funny. I'm pretty sure I even tried to sleep with my feet on my pillow, and my head down below once. And let me tell you — it is not comfortable. Poor Pippi.

I tried re-reading these books a few years ago. I purchased a set of three Pippi books — Pippi Longstocking, Pippi Goes on Board, and Pippi in the South Seas, and I wanted to revisit that old delight I had felt when reading about Pippi's adventures. I'd never run into a problem with a re-read before, and I was looking forward to revisiting Pippi in all her wackiness. It about broke my heart when I started to realize that it just wasn't the same reading these books as an adult. I've since (mostly) blocked out that reading experience, so I can instead focus my memories on my old copies and how I loved them, literally, to pieces. But, that tiny part that I allow to remember I did re-read these weeps a little when I think of it.

Pippi was such a huge part of my childhood, and I refuse to forget her. I refuse to allow her to fade into the background and you had better believe I will be putting copies of this book in the hands of any daughters I have. (Sons too). It is a book meant to be read, loved, and cherished by youth and I shall do everything in my power to make sure the kids in my life love Pippi as much as I do.