All day I’ve been thinking about which mom blogger I’d like to thank today. I am surrounded by a sea of amazing mom bloggers. There are many that have changed and impacted my blogging life. I’ve done blog events with them, written posts for them and had conversations via email that were as real and heartfelt as any in real life. There are other bloggy moms that have inspired me to go further in areas of my life, to try new crafts, new foods and new disciplines. Then there are the moms that don’t even know me. The ones that I follow because I am in awe of them. There are even some mom bloggers who wouldn’t consider themselves part of the “mom blogging” community that we know. They just blog because they want to get the word out on their cause, their kids and their mission. Today, I’m going to thank one of those moms.
Meet Rachel Coleman.
If you’ve been around my blog for awhile you already know Rachel. She is the founder, owner and star of Signing Time, a DVD series that teaches American Sign Language to hearing children. Signing Time is a staple in our house. I am a big believer in sign language for hearing babies and toddlers!
The first time I ever heard of of sign language for babies, I lived in Florida. My friend Jonathan told a story about a kid signing “need more Daddy”…which is actually a funny story when you know Jon. Anyway, this got me intrigued and as I was looking up baby sign language online I found a website with a little treehouse on it. I didn’t have kids so I didn’t buy the DVDs but I always remembered that website.
Years later when Lydia was born, I found that same website and ordered Baby Signing Time. We loved it and Lydia can sign over 100 words. (Asa? About 20. And they all look like “fork”.) But as I got more into Signing Time, the more I fell in love with Rachel Coleman and the story that started her company. I won’t retell the entire story because I think I’ve done so on my blog about 4 times but basically, her first daughter, Leah is deaf and her second daughter, Lucy has cerebral palsy and spina bifida. These videos were a natural result of their life!
I’ve loved Signing Time so much I became an affiliate*, I follow Rachel on twitter and I read her blog. That is when I have the emotional wherewithall to make it through one of her posts. Rachel is a woman on fire. She is a purposeful mother who blogs honestly about her shortcomings as a mother, her motivations and her children’s ABILITIES.
The photo on the top of her blog is a picture of her pushing her daugher Lucy in a jogging stroller. Lucy is eight years old and unable to walk because of her spina bifida. Why is she in a jogging stroller? Because Rachel runs marathons with her.
In 2008, Rachel wrote a post that I still think about regularly. It’s called Strong Enough To Be Your Mom. Their family was going to Cancun and one of the excursions was not wheel-chair accesible. But they went anyway. And Rachel carried her 50 pound daughter the entire way. Lucy experienced it as if she had no disabilities. A year later Rachel wrote Strong Enough To Be Your Mom Part 2. She tells how she and her husband hired a personal trainer to make them stronger—so they can transfer Lucy from the bathtub to the wheelchair as she gets older, so they can hike through the mountains when she’s 12, so they can always always always say YES to Lucy and her dreams.
This is the kind of mom I want to be. Even with children who don’t have physical limitations, I want to push myself for my children. So I can say YES! ABSOLUTELY! LET’S DO IT! to my children’s dreams.
Thank you, Rachel. Thank you for Signing Time. Thank you for thousands of lives you’ve enhanced by doing more for your own children. I’m forever inspired by you.
*no affiliate links today, folks!