One day after the New Year's Eve dance at Mrs. Gardiner's (where she meets Laurie), Jo sees him looking out the window at her, looking lonely. She throws a snowball at the window, the two talk, and she ends up coming for a visit (she has been wanting to see his house). While there, she is surprised to find out that Laurie knows the names of her sisters and details about them. When she asks him how he can know this, he responds:
Why, you see I often hear you calling to one another, and when I'm alone up here, I can't help looking over at your house, you always seem to be having such good times. I beg your pardon for being so rude, but sometimes you forget to put down the curtain at the window where the flowers are. And when the lamps are lighted, it's like looking at a picture to see the fire, and you all around the table with your mother.
Jo realizes at this point that Laurie is a very lonely young teenager who amuses himself watching them, and his plight goes to her heart. She reaches out to him and invites him to visit anytime. Marmee also extends a welcome to him, knowing companionship would do him good.
The novel shows a classic case of the poor little rich boy (or teen) meeting a family rich in everything but money. Laurie has the big house, the wealth, and all the luxuries that the hardworking March sisters can only dream of, but he is isolated and lacks friends his own age. The March sisters may live on the very fringes of the middle class, with hardly any spare money, but they are rich in love, family, and vitality, and they generously pull him into their circle and pour their sisterly love out on him.