She’s the one who inspired my first novel, the girl I’ve talked about and thought about and read about since I was little.
When my dad told me Laura had written my collection of Little House books, I was convinced that meant she’d put each page into her typewriter and somehow transformed them all into the book I held in my hands. Because that was how close and real she felt. And authors worked magic, plain and simple.
In elementary school, I’d talk about Laura using only her first name, confusing my mom when she’d ask about my day. But that was how real and close she felt. Laura was a friend.
Once, when I was sick, my babysitter Stephanie (another life-long fan) soothed me in the best way she knew how: By reading Laura aloud. For a time I was able to forget how awful I felt, because Laura was there.
When I read William Anderson’s Laura Ingalls Wilder: A Biography , I cried when I got to the part where a librarian showed Laura how a reader had written in the margin of one of her books, “I love you, Laura,” because I loved her, too.
Thank you, Laura, for trusting your everyday life was something worth shaping and sharing.
Happy birthday to you.