This was my parent's desire for me.
So even though I had Crouzons, my parents set about bringing me up and disciplining me like any other regular child. I always wore nice handmade clothes and my hair was nicely brushed and put up, perfected to hide the scars on my head. My mum and nana were great at sewing, knitting and crocheting and they made me matching outfits for my Barbie doll and my big dolls. I was loved and well cared for.
To achieve the goal of being independent later on in life, I was taken out into the world. I was not hidden away in the house....as may children of that era were if they had disabilities. I guess they were trail blazers in that regard. Pioneer advocates and I am thankful to them for that.
Church, family and friends were very supportive of my parents. There being no support group they made their own. Friends who had a daughter with hydrocephalus became heart friends. They suppoorted each other through the tough times. I remember visiting them a lot growing up and seeing the little girl get very sick and pass away.
Physical fights were a common occurrence for my brothers. Kids can be very cruel and my brothers were very protective of me. They both have psychological scars today from growing up having me as their sister.
The local adults who were used to seeing me around took no notice. My nana would hear cruel comments but they were never said to my mum in person. When my parents took me away from my town that is where they encountered 'in your face' ignorance, cruel comments and stares. They needed to have thick skins to deal with what they went through. Mum has told me the story that apparently when people would stare at me for a long time, that I would open my eyes up really big and stare back until they looked away! Feisty girl. My parents also had to be forceful to get the same service as other people got. There was an incident at a puppet show where the photographer refused to take my photo with my brothers. Mum demanded he take it. He relented but he refused to pose us and it was taken very quickly.
Determined that I would have as normal a childhood as possible. off I went to kindergarten. It was advantageous for me having my nana and mum working there. I got to have the birthday jelly babies after school! Kindy was fun and I have only good memories - the wooden school building, the beds, the slides, the playing, the sandpit, the free milk, the Christmas play. So long ago but still so clear.
It was a haven from the sometimes nasty world outside.
The other place I loved going to, was Sunday School. Dressed in my Sunday best pretty dresses and going into the Minister's house for lessons. I loved singing around the piano. 'Jesus loves me yes I know for the bible tells me so...', collecting little cards with verses on them, and the cordial and biscuits at the end. Jesus sowed his seed in my heart at this early age.
© 2012 by Jenny Woolsey
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