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Some Kids I Have Known

If anyone was ever gifted with beauty and brains, it was Katie. Her long dark auburn curling hair was a shining mass about her sweet face. She was only six but already she was well on her way to being a classic beauty with fair skin, lovely rosebud mouth and sparkling eyes. This brilliance didn't stop with her physical appearance. She was just incredibly bright. Sometimes, one had to stop for a moment before answering one of her questions because she had the deepest insight.

"Mrs. Jenson!" The little girl spoke to the woman who was coming in the side door of the gymnasium at the special school where Katie and her daughter were attending.

Katie was standing at the parallel bars balanced against them while her therapist stood next to her. She had a mischievous look on her face to tell of her having fun and playing with the thoughts of the person coming into her presence just as a much older person might exercise a mind game. Her therapist was not getting into anything and she was quiet, not speaking, maybe so as not to spoil the little girl's fun. Katie held her crutches out in front of her with her well arms holding her well planted braced legs up. The sharp pleated crisp ironed dress hung loosely over the top of the braces, thereby covering them, partially. Her face was turned a little upward as she was focused on something of importance to her which, like a ghost, existed, but was not visible to anyone else.

"Katie, you are playing with me." Mrs. Jenson spoke to her with a question in her voice. "Now, how did you know, I was coming through this door?"

As any precocious child with a special gift would do, Katie giggled. "How do you think I knew?"

Mrs. Jenson was, indeed, unable to answer this question the child put to her. "I have not the slightest idea, Katie." "You scare me." "I think you must have ESP." Mrs. Jenson joked with the little girl who was both blind and disabled with cerebral palsy.

"What's ESP?"

"Oh, I don't know." "Ask your Mom when you get home." Mrs. Jenson was avoiding a difficult topic.

"You really want to know?" Katie was friendly and willing to share. I heard your car. I know you drive a Ford.

"Katie!" "Can you really tell the sound of my car?"

"Sure can!" "And I think it needs some oil!"

"Oh Katie, you just never cease to amaze me."

That evening over their meal, Mrs. Jenson spoke with her husband about the incident.

"I am always a little unbelieving of what Katie can do." "No matter, she cannot see." "Her powers of observation are so developed." "If she could only see." "She won't allow anyone to feel sorry for her disability, though" "Before, one has a moment to think, she is engaging them in a pleasant conversation." "I surely would like to visit with her Mother." "She must be quite a lady." "I don't suppose I will ever have the opportunity." "This is such a gigantic town and I don't even know where they live."

"Call her." Mrs. Jenson's husband encouraged her.

"Oh no, I won't do that." "I'm sure the lady has plenty to do without me bothering her" "I know Katie has brothers and sisters." "From the way she dresses Katie, I'm sure she does the same for the other children." "I don't imagine she has any time left to visit on the phone with strangers who are curious about her life." So, for the moment, the subject was dismissed.

If it was coincidence or a maneuvering of some higher power would not ever be known, this chance meeting the two women had as they were treating their children to a visit to the playgrounds around the beautiful well-kept grounds of White Rock Lake. The body of water was resting in the midst of that great city of Dallas, and could give one a break from the angles and cube shapes of buildings, houses, and streets.

Katie was her usual pleasant self, and her mother was beside her with the same vigilance the physical therapist had earlier practiced. The woman was quiet in her role with no nervousness or signs of insecurity. Her placid gentle ways gave one a little understanding as to the reason her child was like she was.

Mrs. Jenson was more than impressed with the calm intelligent way she working with her child.

Meanwhile, the two little girls were busy in their own world. As has been done since the beginnings of time children have a way of getting through their disabilities to find a way to play.

Mrs. Jenson took this moment to rather boldly question the mother. "I admire you so much for the good mother you are." She opened the conversation. "I know you have other children, but Katie always looks so lovely." "Her hair is always just so, and she looks like a little doll in her clothes."

The woman looked at Mrs. Jenson without turning her head directly toward the woman. She was certainly not a simpleton. She knew to test the waters before opening up to a stranger as to the things surrounding a child with a disability. Evidently, she felt okay with this woman's truthful wish to know.

"I just keep one thing in mind." "In order to help Katie, I must, myself, be well, physically and mentally." "If I allow myself to become depressed mentally or sick physically how can I be there for her?" With these words she left a lasting impression and almost something like a golden rule as a guide to the woman who truly wanted to know her secret.

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