Dobsons 411

Hanging on for the ultimate ride--God's great adventure.
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Location: Oregon

The author of fourteen contemporary and historical novels, Melanie Dobson lives with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Her latest novels are Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor and Chateau of Secrets. More info at

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Changing the World

We went to lunch this weekend with my dear friend, Brenda, and Mitch, a friend I haven’t seen in ten years. A quiet lunch between friends...and our two beautiful girls.

Our youngest daughter is the perfect lunch date. Kiki isn’t quite two yet she sits sweetly at the table, smiling as she listens to everyone talk. She’s content eating and enjoying the conversation, exuding (as Mitch put it) peace and tranquility.

But Karly…Karly doesn’t have a tranquil bone in her energetic body. Never has. She couldn’t even wait to get to the hospital to be born, arriving in the world five minutes after her birthmother went into labor, ready to get a jumpstart on life.

Karly is all about life. She seizes it. Embraces it. Not a moment passes untouched by my almost three-year-old. A wonderful thing…until Mommy and Daddy want to catch up with a friend.

Minutes after our arrival at lunch, Karly was building a tower with chopsticks, counting (and then crushing) her rice cakes, bouncing on her seat, and laughing hysterically at Mitch’s jokes. I was praying the waiter was rushing our order—especially after a half-eaten apple was launched across the restaurant’s hardwood floor.

By the time our food came, my end of the conversation had turned shotgun—firing off bullets of information while I snatched flailing silverware, sponged up yet another spill, and apologized for Karly swiping one of Mitch’s mushrooms, licking it, and politely returning it to his plate. (Don’t you want to have lunch with us??)

We crammed ten years worth of info into ten minutes, and as we were preparing to leave, Mitch smiled and said our children were a joy (how nice is that?). Then he turned to Karly and said, “And this one. This one is going to change the world.”

You see, Karly isn’t (always) trying to be bad. She’s so full of joy that she leaves a piece of it where ever she goes. Most people don’t forget my daughter after they meet her (how could they?). Her grin makes everyone else smile. Her enthusiasm is contagious. Her hunger for life inspiring.

It’s impossible for Karly to leave a place unchanged.

Before we left the restaurant, I scrambled to clean up the mound of crumbs and chopsticks and juice boxes under her chair. When I looked up, she had wrapped her arms around Brenda, giving her a huge hug and then a kiss.

I love the way she loves other people. I envy the way she paints every minute with vibrant color. And I’m all for her changing the world.

But sometimes I wish she could wait to change it until after I eat my lunch.


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