Sunday, February 12, 2012

Letter from Hburg

A few weeks ago Jenny's friend and second cousin Dolly stayed with us for the weekend. Dolly has disability and health issues, and Jenny is as strong and healthy as a horse, but they are both utterly normal 12-year-olds.

I wrote about this experience for today's Letter from Harrisburg.


  1. If only we were all capable but humble.

  2. Did you seriously write in your column that minorities and the disabled are unusual?

    I can't believe I just read that.

  3. Anonymous--statistically, only a small percentage of the population (at least in Linn County, Oregon)is disabled, Mennonite, or non-white. That's why we're unusual. And why we stand out.

  4. As the dad of a blind son, I read your article with great interest. Good story and good insight. It really is true that sometimes children do better than adults at knowing how to relate to the "unusual".Of course children can also be very cruel as well. I may write about some of our experiences sometime but in the meantime you can check out the "about us" section on the website

  5. I agree that children tend to be far more honest and open about their interest and curiosity regarding obvious differences....while we adults stand around awkwardly pretending we don't notice any "difference".

    As a person with different abilities and challenges, it's probably easier to address -and thereby move past- the "elephant in the room" if people don't dance politely around the subject.

    While I admire this ability in children to be direct and to the point, and I cringe at my inability to be just as graceful in these situations...
    I have to admit, I've accidently trained that trait out of my children, just as my parents did.

    Because it is the same trait that makes children able to announce without a hint of shame, "Why are your teeth yellow?" and "You have a re-e-e-a-lly BIG tummy!" or "What happened to your hair??"


  6. Dolly and her family are great. Just as you and yours are, as far as I've seen, except in their distinctive ways. I'm glad I have met a few Smuckers. :o)

  7. When we used to babysit her I learned to never "help" her dress and undress a doll. Her teeth worked just fine! When shall we mini golf again? She is way beyond her years in all aspects except the obvious physical. And an awesome God trusted her parents with her.
    Grandma Lou