The Next Generation
At this writing, I have five granddaughters, four teenagers and a two-year-old. The older girls have been taught to tell me when they are leaving the room and when they have come back, thanks to Kara’s example and instruction. They are very comfortable with having a blind grandmother, because that’s what they have known all their lives. We play games with brailled cards or game pieces, like Scrabble, Uno, and Blurt. We played a game called Mancola, which involves moving marbles from one well into another, a very tactile game that the younger girls enjoyed and that required no sighted help. Kara bought brailled children’s books, so I could read to the girls at bedtime. They learned to respect guide dogs and not to point and exclaim when they saw a person with a disability in public.
My toddler granddaughter is now learning to put things in my hands and to speak more clearly when she is addressing me.
It hasn’t always been easy. Just as I have to organize transportation for myself these days, I spent hours on the phone asking for rides when my children were little. Their dad wasn’t always available to take them to baseball practice, or gymnastics or ballet lessons. He did have to work after all. And sometimes, I had to rely on their knowledge of colors to help them lay out their clothes for school the next day. Steve always cracked me up when I’d ask him about something that was beige. “I don’t know what that color is Mom. It’s no color,” he’d say.
I can remember my frustration and Kara’s too, when I tried to curl her hair. A beautician I would never be.
when we’d go to the baby pool, and I’d be sitting on the edge, I’d insist on their responding to me immediately when I’d call their names. I was very serious about this rule. No trying to fool Mommy. They must have played tricks on me. what kid wouldn’t? But I can’t recall a single time.