Because I am studying the eras of WWI and WWI this semester with a homeschooling youth group, our Commonwealth School, Europe and stories that have emerged from it are on my mind a lot. Every week I give a hero story to the youth to inspire them. Maria Von Trapp’s story is definitely heroic! I mentioned this to a family member, and this family member did not think she is a hero. I respectfully disagree and I told this family member so. The family member said, “What was so heroic about her? All she did was follow her husband.” To which I had to take a deep breath so as not to hyperventilate in fierce, angry defense of Maria’s valor.
As I calmly told this family member, it takes a lot of faith for a mother not to give up in normal, everyday life. We have constant pressures, ordinary things like what is your family going to eat for the next meal, when are you going to go shopping, what are the children getting into next, etc. Then to put the stress of blending a family, living in Nazi Germany, and what to do about it on top of that? Maria definitely deserves the highest praise for becoming a stepmother, for having the courage to bear children, for not giving up being a wife and mother, and for getting her family to America.
I read her story years ago, I think when I was pregnant with Baby #5, the same year I read Corrie Ten Boom’s The Hiding Place. I absolutely loved learning the real details of the real story behind the Sound of Music. We watched SOM as a family last Sunday and Monday nights, as we realized our littles hadn’t seen it all the way, over and over, like the older ones had. The movie and the real story have some differences, but both are charming and I am so grateful that I have stories like these in my life to inspire me. I finally get why so many girls my age were named “Julie”! Julie Andrews was everybody’s favorite star in the 60s and 70s, of which I am a child.
I also enjoyed reading the book below that same summer when I was pregnant with #5. It has a lot of pictures and focuses more on the family’s new life in Vermont as the ski lodge they owned. Get these books and fall in love with the Von Trapps all over again. I almost feel inspired to turn my own brood into a singing troupe just so I can be more like Maria!