Tuesday, July 21, 2009
So moving along from the ‘incident.’
Which is getting rather spicy and more crazy. Seems she's been busted in the comments section. So.....it was her after all.
(Love referring to things as incidents. It could be anything…the ‘drunk incident’ the…. ‘I slept with an ex last night incident’, the… ‘incident of 1993 of which we shall not speak’…or ‘the issuing of a spanking into the blogosphere’ incident. The possibilities are endless.)
Anyway, so to put everything in perspective –and kudos to my mum for suggesting this - I got the office together and we headed to the cerebral palsy home.
1) My leather handbag from Turkey. Have to justify for it in some way because it the extremity of all that and a bag of chips.
2) Heightened awareness of being fortunately physically and mentally able
3) I have a roof over my head. Sure, it might be running amok with raccoons? Squirrels? Cretinous winter raboids, which, it turns out, appear to be fornicating. The squeals and bumping around. Christ. This is why I don’t have Couchsurfers over anymore. Amongst other things.
Anyway. Ah. The point.
Well, doing good is evidentally, a good thing. Is also an excellent form of escapism – if you don’t cry.
Still haven’t done that, yesterday would’ve been a good opportunity.
So we went to the cerebral palsy home in Joburg South, handed out hotdogs and free hugs. It was hard, and touching, but so worth it.
It reminded me of one of the hardest things I had to do as an 18 year old.
When I lived in France, I looked after a clutch of children. Seven, to be exact. I was Fraulein Maria of the Von Trappes, except I didn’t fashion dresses out of curtains, and run around mountains wearing them.
I also didn’t have a thing with the father. Julie Andrews you naughty naughty minx.
Most of the time, the kids loved Aunty Peas. Which was very nice, yes.
I also ate a lot of brie, not so many schnitzels with noodles wrapped in brown paper packages and with snowflakes on the nose.
One child I looked after had a very rare disease.
Still to this day I couldn't find it on Google, because I only know it sort of in French, and even then the spelling is sketchy: Pachygyria Lissencephaly or some such. Thank you Secret for finding this!
Nutshell: our brains have convolutions, and therefore we have double the surface area than meets the eye. Her brain was completely flat, so she was severely handicapped.
It was a lot of responsibility for someone who was about to head to varsity, was harvesting the fruits of good wine, eating 8000 brie cheeses a month –butterball.com - and obviously loving the charms of ze Franch men. Who walked me through frog’s legs and the back of a Cannes night club. That one time.
It was a serious learning curve and often very difficult; life was equally as enriching as it was scary. Just the juice for an 18 year old, so it worked out surprisingly well.
Potty training her, helping teaching her to walk, watching that she doesn’t hurt herself while she eats. At that stage all she could communicate with me was through sign language.
She also got very frustrated and would have tantrums in the middle of Carrefour or at the hairdressers. She had seizures. Sometimes she’d just hit me repeatedly. So it wasn’t always a picnic.
But the experience I gleaned from that, and the love I had for this child, well, it’s unsurmounted.
And she was absolutely gorgeous – with huge green eyes and these tiny little spectacles on her nose. And when she smiled, or gave hugs – she was very affectionate –all would be but forgotten, for that moment.
Look at me getting all gooey. Over a little sprog. Who knew.
So I think I’m going to try and do this more often. It brings out my softer side. Check it out, I still have one.