We know, we know: Jo, with all her rough-and-tumble imperfections, is everyone's favorite little woman. But perhaps the true heroine of Louisa May Alcott's classic is the matriarch of the March family, Marmee, who raises her four girls alone while her husband's at war and never seems to so much as ruffle a feather. Meanwhile, some of us (not naming any names) lose our patience completely by 8:00 a.m. at the third "Oops, I dropped my dolly in the toilet!" Like Jo, we can all look to Marmee to answer the question: "How did you learn to keep still?" The sage Marmee’s answer: "I am not patient by nature...I must try to practice all the virtues I would have my little girls possess." Good to know that even literature's most perfect mother has to work at it.
Louisa May Alcott