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Some Kids I Have Known
Make Lemonade


Her grandson was not adjusting to his school. To see him standing at the door, red faced from having been crying for obviously a length of time was really more than she could bear. Her Native American Blood was all at once one with her ancestors. It was a battle to keep her mind from flying back to an ancient place when her folks went home to tell their family the people who were coming upon them were violent.

"See how they treat their children!" It was true, they had said this, because she could remember, even though it was many years ago.

This might have been an eon away from those people, her own grandparents. Here and now it was, and there was her grandchild wailing as if with a broken heart. Every day it was the same. At first she went onto a far part of the acre and wept quietly too, but only for a brief time, because the child needed her. He and his one year old sister needed her. What to do? What to do?

They all gathered into the car, Baby, Grandson, Cerebral Palsied daughter and all. A trip to the local Hobby Lobby was distraction for a short time. They must have looked a site with the baby sitting on the lap of her aunt who was in a wheel chair. The four-year-old was walking ahead of them, showing them the way to the toys.

One day was torment while the child cried for hours, "I want my Mama." "I want my Mama." She could only distract him for a while. As soon as there was a quiet moment he would be back to his sobbing deep sobs.

"I asked them to call me, when he first starts crying." "They won't do it." "You people are beyond my understanding." "A child only wants to know someone is there for them." "After a few days he would have been reassured and over his fright." She knew her reasoning was falling on deaf ears of her Anglo husband. She even knew what he was probably thinking. "What's the big deal?" "He'll get over it."

This day was particularly trying. The continuous strain was wearing her down and she was becoming erratic in her actions. As she was gathering the children into the car all the while the little boy was wailing, she was reminded by her daughter that she had forgotten her car keys. As she tossed the wheelchair into the trunk, she told them she would be right back. The concern was that she hurry since the boiling Oklahoma summer heat was still upon them and she knew she couldn't leave the baby in the car for any length of time.

In between the boy's crying he had put his hand into a bowl of salad in the fridge and was munching on the vegetables there. There was a moment of sorrow in her heart as she recognized he was learning to placate his misery with food. What could she do? "Don't look!" "Don't think!" She turned to rush back into the house.

Evidently he had dropped some of the salad coated with dressing on the floor and she did not see it in her haste. Now if she had been younger, when she played at dancing, sliding as she was doing now would have been no problem. Somewhere in her programmed brain the same action was upon her. The only difference was that her muscles grabbed and held without the same lithe ability she once had. She felt her muscles jerked and pulled as if someone had circled her with a stout lariat rope. The twisting of one leg under her was now a terror for her. After the first wrenching of her back she was afraid to move. Carefully, gingerly she was moving slowly while testing to see if there was to be a shooting stab of pain at any time. When she realized she was not really hurt the woman was all at once traumatized. The tears ran down her cheeks like rivers, and she stayed where she was for what seemed to be an eternity but was in actuality only minutes.

As her grandson peeked around the corner he was suddenly very calm and thoughtful. There was no crying as he asked, "Gramma what's wrong."

"I'm okay!" "Just a little shaken." "I'll need to call your Mother and I've broken my glasses." "Be a dear." "Go get my glasses in the bedroom." "I've broken these."

"Pull a chair up to the shelf." "You can reach them."

While she fumbled with the phone book trying to see the print with her old glasses she stopped and looked directly at her grandson. "What are we going to do?" "I don't know if I can see with these old glasses." "You won't go to school so you can learn to read for me." "What are we going to do."

The little boy looked at her with such a grown up expression. "I'll go to school, Gramma." "I will."

That very day his Mother quit her job, vowing to stay at home with him. When the Gramma called him the next day to see if he had cried at school he said. "Not at all, Gramma." "Not at all."


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