Sunday, April 23, 2006

This 'n' That

I have been a mom for 20 years. Some days I feel like I still don't know what I'm doing but then I think back to how I was back then with this new baby and I wish I could go back and give me some advice.

Matt: Happy birthday! I love you. I'm so glad you're my son.

* * *

My mom is 85 and still very active. Recently she was clearing some brush and scraped her leg on a stick. It got infected and she's had quite a time getting it to heal. So my brother who lives next door has been telling her to please take good care of herself. So yesterday after she did all the Saturday cleaning she went outside and got the ladder and cleaned the leaves out of the gutters along the roof.

* * *
As mentioned on Friday, Jenny is now seven. Paul's cousin Darrell's wife Simone was pregnant with her first child at the same time I was expecting Jenny. She delivered Dawnisha about six weeks after Jenny was born.*

It was a big shock to everyone to hear that Dawnisha had been born with incomplete arms. On the right, she had a short stub with three fingers (or is it two--can't remember). On the left, there's an upper arm, an elbow, and then a short section with three fingers.

She looked so tiny and fragile back then. The doctor said she would eventually do everything but throw a ball, but it was hard to imagine.

Today in church Dawnisha was sitting beside Jenny and the two of them were sharing markers and paper. At one point Dawnisha scootched off the bench and yanked a heavy hymnbook out of the rack (to put on her lap) with her left hand while clutching two fat markers and a pad of post-it notes in her right.

I have a feeling she'll be cleaning out the gutters when she's 85.

Quote of the Day:
"Did you know Sharon Coblentz sometimes drives with her feet? Felicia told me."
(Legal disclaimer: this is purely hearsay from my daughter whose veracity is normally reliable but who has been known to get the story wrong on occasion. Neither the subject nor other independent sources or witnesses were contacted regarding this report.)

*You can read the whole story in my new book, Ordinary Days--Family Life in a Farmhouse. Ask for it at your bookstore in June.


  1. I ABSOLUTELY NEVER!!!! drive w/my feet--that child!!!!not a wonder there are days I run screaming for the hills!!!LOL

  2. I drive with my knees sometimes.:)Being a young mother with two little boys, I'd love to hear your advice you would have given yourself at this age.

  3. Sharon driving with her feet?? Yep, I believe it without a shadow of a doubt. LOL!!!!!

  4. Ha-ha, Sharon, it worked. I haven't been getting many comments and I knew if I used that quote I would soon have a fiery comment to read.
    Cheryl--this is what I'd advise myself back then:
    --He is crying more than babies ought to cry. See a doctor.
    --Ask for help.
    --Follow your heart and instincts, no matter what your sister says.
    --You do not need to worry about a "temper cry" in a little baby, no matter what your MIL says.
    --Just relax. He'll never remember this stage.
    --Formula is ok too.
    --Drop all those other commitments and involvements and just be a mom.
    --Relax. There's lots of grace available, and you're allowed to make mistakes.
    --Focus on teaching and relationship rather than punishment.

    I tell Matt he was my guinea pig and I was a much better mom with my other babies. He is cool with that and has now turned into the family giraffe and a nice grown-up guy.

  5. Hurrah! for "mom" and Hurrah! for Dawnisha!!! I love your perspective.


  6. Hey, Dorcas! Your book is listed on! Is your publisher going to put those little maple leaf stickers on the spine for sales this side of the border? I'm guessing your book qualifies.