Parenting Tool Belt Addition: Talking to Our Smiles…

Apologies if you’ve already received this.  Final kinks being worked out with e-mail distribution lists from new website.   Hoping you only one of each update from now on!  Thanks for hanging in there with me through the multiple e-mails as we figured it out!  

Don’t you just love it when you are reading a good fiction book and you glean an unexpected nugget of  wisdom?! This excerpt, from the Dearest Dorothy series that I absolutely adore, perfectly portrays a situation typical to those of us who have young daughters. I can totally see this happening at my house and am glad for another tool in my parenting tool belt for how to approach times like this. Read on to add to your tool belt! 

From DEAREST DOROTHY, HELP! I’VE LOST MYSELF by Charlene Ann Baumbich, copyright (c) 2004, by Charlene Ann Baumbich.  
Used by permission of Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Not many people talk to their smiles, but Dorothy had talked to hears ever since the day her mother, who had had it with her nine-year-old’s, strong-willed contrariness, had steered her by the shoulders into the bathroom and stood her before the mirror above the sink. “Dorothy Jean, take a good look at that face. What do you see, child?”

“I see a girl who does not want to wear her dumb blue dress to church today,” Dorothy said with a humph of finality. “Look at me! I look perfectly fine in my pink sweater and dungarees,” she proclaimed, her face pinched into a wad of storm.

“Child of mine, you look perfectly fine in your birthday suit, too, but you’re not wearing that to church today either.”

“Oh, yes I am. I’m always wearing my birthday suit. But usually nobody can see it because I’m wearing clothes over it.”

Ethel tucked her lips inside her mouth, damming a torrent of sharp words ready to burst out of her. She stared at her daughter’s set face, then watched her cross her gangly arms across her chest, clearly reveling in her last statement, which was, at its root, inarguable-and they both knew it. Ethel had long ago learned, however, that neither diatribing nor debating would move Dorothy Jean toward Ethel’s intentions. No, you had to beat Dorothy at her own strengths, and that took prayer, creativity and unending patience. While Ethel engaged in mental gymnastics, she mindlessly crossed her arms against her chest as she studied her own midlife face in the mirror, as if appealing to it for answers. Her eyes scanned their framed reflections. Without a doubt, these two females were the shadow images of each other’s stubbornness. Lord have mercy on us both, Ethel prayed in silence.

Just then the old Register clock in the kitchen began its ten-gong pronouncement that church would begin in thirty minutes, barely enough time for them to finish dressing, pack up and get to town.

“Dorothy Jean Brown, we both look pathetic. Just get a good gander at us. I think we should talk to our smiles and try to coax them out of their hiding places. After all, if you were the pastor, would you want to look at these faces while you were preaching God’s word?”

Mother and daughter spent a few moments moving nothing but their eyes between their reflections. Pretty soon it became impossible not to giggle, which is exactly what they did.

“Look at us,” Ethel said. “Don’t we look like fine women when we smile?”

“We do,” Dorothy said, her heart erupting with love for her mother like an explosion of happy feathers.

“Let us determine right here and now,” Ethel said, resting her hands on her daughter’s shoulders, “that when we find we haven’t been smiling enough, we will talk to our smiles to encourage them, okay? We’ll talk to our smiles until they appear, so that when we look in he mirror we can smile back at them.” Ethel then leaned over and kissed the top of her daughter’s fine brown hair, her warm breath melting Dorothy’s remaining resistance.

Without another word Dorothy Jean Brown quickly changed into her blue dress, casting a hurried eye into her dresser mirror each time she passed it, just to make sure she was smiling back at…her smile.

And now, nearly eight decades later, Dorothy Jean Wetstra talked to her smile yet again, realizing it had been hiding for several days.”

Wasn’t that a delightful read?!  If you want more, check out the first book in the series.  I can promise that you’ll be hooked and enjoy escaping to Partonville through all six books!   They would be a great Christmas gifts for yourself and/or someone else.  Click on book 1 of the series below to be connected to Amazon for detailed description and ordering information.  (FYI…the excerpt from this blog came from book 3, pages 2 through 4.)

Dearest Dorothy, Are We There Yet? by Charlene Baumbich (Book 1)


Saturday 1 December, 2012  |  Copyright ©2012, Kara Durbin read more>>

Want weekly tips on Parenting with Scripture?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and
receive notifications of new posts by email.