yesterday, I can remember how upset the photographer was because he
couldn't get me to hold my hands as he wanted. Seriously, I had absolutely
no understanding as to what the man was trying to tell me.
The slight grin here simply
was an expression of amusement to see the grown up person throwing such a
fit. To this day I can see his exasperation almost to the point of pulling
his hair out. He waved his arms around and put his fingers together trying
to show me how to hold my hands.
As an adult I see the
childlike way of clasping the hands and do not find it an undesirable pose.
It wasn't a relaxed mature position, but then I wasn't an adult. After my
Mother and I left we both laughed together about how upset he was about the
position of my fingers. Mother told first my Gramma about it and then my
father. It was all a great adventure for me.
Having been gifted to
remember events to have happened in my childhood has given me a respect for
the intelligence of children. They are much more able to have thoughts and
observations of their own far past what some adults give them credit.
The dress I wore for the
photograph was handmade by my grandmother, Bellzona. I too, remember this
garment well. It was of a soft silky like fabric. She probably used a dress
of her own to make it. The fabric wasn't typical to the clothing for
children of that day. Neither was the color. Most of the children in our
area wore pastel colors of checks or gingham. The little bright trim Gramma
sewed around the skirt and on the bodice was particularly nice, I thought. A
dress of this design would fit very well into the wardrobe of a child of
this day and time of the year 2003. The dark color is acceptable today.
Didn't matter to me it was different. It was a favorite dress and I wore it
until it was much too short. Once I wore it to school when I was five. When
the children teased me about the shortness of it, I wasn't bothered a bit.
So how can this small event
tie is with the title, “Children's Joys?” This photograph mirrors the whole
way my childhood was. Why my folks were not like everyone else I don't know
or understand. They just were different and that was all there was to it.
Mother was Native American.
She was beautiful and I do not exaggerate. She was the only Ponca woman in
the total area of Osage county. She was elected PTA president and always
conducted the meetings. No one played the violin more beautifully. An
invitation for her to perform was often given. Her Mother-In-Law, my Gramma
Jones, played the old time fiddle tunes and she was equally as popular.
I've often thought about each
and every member of our family as to their going about their business, doing
things that were considered a bit weird. There was my Dad and his
inventions. I had an Uncle who was an extrovert to the maximum. Grampa Jones
in his younger days had been an honorary Texas Ranger.
The only way I can see the
value of this early living experience was that it gave me the pattern and
will to be different in a fight through the battles at a national level for
Special Education, parking for the handicapped and pushing into places where
no “crippled” person had formerly been allowed to go. All this happened in
my struggle to stand up for what I believed as to a handicapped person being
allowed to live in their parent's home rather than an institution.
Many battles were fought with
doctors regarding my feelings as to what I would or wouldn't do for my
Cerebral Palsied daughter. These were fought when I was young, alert, and
about one third the size I am now. The doctors in the medical world in
Oklahoma City had to meet me head on much like the bulls there on the
prairie butted heads with each other. Once a kind doctor whose own child had
Cerebral Palsy advised me to take my girl to Texas where the men knew how to
treat women who had the spunk and courage to fight for what they believed.
This is what I did and it was true. I was treated with great respect even
when we were in the heat of a conflict. All the while this happened my
daughter was unconcerned, secure and joyful with simple pleasures. Her swing
set, the low to the ground sleek looking tricycle, the sand box, another
tricycle with special built up pedals having straps to keep her feet in
place, and all the other many toys about her for a child's happy existence.
My daughter is forty-four
now. She has been the greatest support to me. A woman wise with a wisdom
that goes to the spiritual. Her steady thoughtful ways remind me of how my
Dad thought things though. The contribution she has made for the joyful
worlds of the children around her will assure her a Greater Spirit has seen
her own good deeds too.
To illustrate, recently,
after the grandchildren went home, my daughter and I sat down to watch a
movie. Immediately it is going to the lazy writer's common use of the love
scene. I looked at her and said, “I wonder why we can't once enjoy a good
plot without this?”
She said, “Well, you see.
It is like this---money talks.”
Yes, she may be different
too, with a sad twisted little body and a brilliant mind. No problem, we
can handle it.