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Get ready for another rollicking reading ride -- when you can't tell if the tears you suddenly find on your cheeks are from laughing or from ...
Get ready for another rollicking reading ride -- when you can't tell if the tears you suddenly find on your cheeks are from laughing or from crying. Dorcas Smucker once again writes so vividly about life with her six kids that you'll be convinced you have a place at their table, your own seat in their van, a list of chores with your name at the top, and a small hankering for trouble -- just like one of the family. She and her kids are innocently funny and usually well-meaning, trying hard to manage all their energy and their peculiar points of view.
Jenny asks questions endlessly like, "What's inside your lips?" Matt has serial obsessions -- animals to astronomy. Ben drops caterpillars down the gaps in the porch floor and has a 12-year collection of scars. Emily moves effortlessly from being a whirling Queen of the Smuckers to posing as a pompous science lecturer. Amy phones home to report that, "New York City is not dangerous," and "We girls walk outside at night." And 9-year-old Steven from Kenya joins the family, soon demonstrating the same compulsion as his new brothers by throwing balls in the living room.
What makes this collection a stand-out is Dorcas' "Mother voice." With each new development, she's clear about the outcome she's hoping for, less certain about how she'll accomplish it, willing to confess the way things unfold. Dorcas Smucker, writer and mom, is bravely honest and hilariously humble. She never fails to give courage to any parent who reads these joyride chapters, while relentlessly entertaining.
Posted January 10, 2008
Dorcas Smucker has a refreshing voice, as she describes her gratitude for the crisp bite of an apple, the beauty of daffodils growing freely, the frustrations of a year in which mice seem to multiply out of nowhere, the care she took to choose Christmas gifts that would convey the feeling of being ¿special, loved, and included, like someone who really mattered.¿ I especially enjoyed the essays relating to her marriage, her discussion of the give-and-take of the relationship and how the ¿feeling¿ of love sometimes comes and goes but the practice of love should remain solid. Or, as she quotes her husband: You¿d think we¿d have everything figured out after 18 years. God has blessed me with a wife who is committed to making our marriage work, but we are still discovering the mysteries of love and sacrifice and commitment and how they make a relationship work. Dorcas grew up in the Amish community, but she and her family are now Mennonites and she describes her struggles to make the right decisions. ¿Is it okay to buy a fast-food meal if it means more time with a friend? If having a garden means I don¿t have time to teach vacation Bible school, which do I choose? Is making my own food always better than buying it? Am I insisting on doing things the slow and old-fashioned way long after it becomes pointless?¿ Ultimately, the question seems to be, ¿Was it worth it?¿ and her answer comes through clearly, ¿Yes, yes, it was.¿ Likewise, time spent reading this book was worth it. I highly recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.