Are You My Mommy?
The rain splashed in huge
droplets off the hood of our car and the windshield wipers hurried back
and forth across the window as if they were rushing to catch the next
sheet of water before we were blinded to the road with the glass made
opaque by that rain.
Rod and I were rushing to
keep the appointment set up for us by Auntie Pud at the Cerebral Palsy
Center in Norman. A tall arched covered overhang directly in front of
the double door entry protected us from the rain as we stepped out of
the car and that was nice. I silently congratulated the architect for
thinking of such a thing. Even so, our shoes were dripping water on the
very shiny floor of the waiting room.
"Sorry to ruin this very
nice floor," I spoke to the receptionist who was behind a desk.
"Not to worry." The girl
was friendly and didn't seem to be concerned about the floor.
With this warm
personality she was no doubt chosen for her job and without effort put
me at ease. I began to unwrap Rhonda from her warm blankets. Our baby
was always cheerful and smiled to me as she suddenly could see out from
under her covers.
Rodney strode through the
door after he had parked the car with his usual air of control and I was
thankful for these masculine always take charge ways. He went up to the
receptionist's desk and gave her our names along with the appointment
"Come on back. Your
therapist, Sol, is waiting for you." And I, like a goose being fattened
for the kill, meekly followed along behind the woman. We were walking
down a hallway with a floor highly polished and clean as the waiting
room we just left. Everything was cheerful and bright. To the right the
wide hallway turned into another shorter hall and the girl turned again
to her right to enter the therapist's office. Windows half way down
between the therapistís office and a gymnasium looking room were there,
evidently so he could watch the children at work in that larger room.
"Hello, I'm Sol, and I
will be Rhonda's therapist."
The man was strong and
had the appearance of one who could lift any of the children. I noticed
he had a long scar running all the way up his arm.
"Come on in." Sol asked
us into his office. Behind him on the wall was a good sized plaque which
had a large red button painted on it and under that the words read,
"Would you like to tour
the building?" Sol asked.
"Sure. Yes, that would be
fine." Curiosity needed to be satisfied.
At first we walked
through a great room where there were cushioned tables. We stopped
briefly to speak with the therapist who was working with one of the
children. The child was flat on his back having one leg stretched at a
time. As the strong man held the leg stiff, it would be pulled and
stretched, up and down. The child cried out each time the leg was
"Aren't you hurting him?"
I had to say something.
"Yes it hurts, but it is
necessary. These muscles can get so stiff surgery is necessary to relax
As if to verify his word,
he pointed to a child who was standing at parallel bars. A football type
helmet on the little boyís head gave the child an odd appearance. He was
at force to use crutches to hold himself up on legs made straight and
stiff from the steel braces he was wearing. The therapist pointed to the
back of the child's knees to where the surgery had been performed.
Sol was leading us now
back down the same hallway toward what looked to be a spacious
dormitory. There were rows and rows of baby beds. Bars all around each
bed didnít seem necessary to me. It was obvious the children were unable
to move much. As we walked by the beds little hands and fingers reached
out to touch us. Soulful eyes were pleading for our attention as we
"Are you my Mommy?" One
"Don't let him con you."
Sol picked the child up. "He's quite good at getting your attention." At
this, the child smiled a sly little grin while he rolled his eyes toward
the ceiling and away from us.