Posts Tagged ‘Jack Fyock quote’

If you see the world in black and white, you’re missing important grey matter. (Jack Fyock)

Ella’s charm draws to her at least seven children from the YMCA pool.

“Will you play with me?” one girl asks, and Ella nods.

“What do you want to play?” the girl asks.

Ella hesitates.

“How about pretending to be frogs?” I suggest, slowly stepping away, giving the kids space around my precious granddaughter.

“Yeah,” this leader girl answers. “Frogs!”

“Hop. Hop,” Ella says moving along in the shallow water.

One boy with black curly hair shows me his swim vest, his ebony face bright with pride. “I brought it from home.”

“Looks great,” I tell him.

“Are you her mom?” one blonde girl asks me. I grin, grateful for her edited eyesight.

“No, I’m her grandma.” I wonder if grandmothers are supposed to hop like frogs in shallow water.

One look at the clock tells me this time will be short. Ella and I need to meet Grandpa in the lobby in about twenty minutes for our picnic lunch before Ella goes to afternoon pre-school. “Ten minutes and then we have to get dressed,” I tell her. “I brought tortilla chips today.” They are one of her favorite snacks. I hope they are enough encouragement to get her out of the water.

“No,” Ella responds.

“She can stay here,” one of the children offers.

I smile at the boy’s innocence.

“Is she a baby or does she just talk like one?” another boy asks. His voice indicates no condemnation, only curiosity.

“She isn’t a baby…but she is learning…” I answer, without any hint of censure in my voice. I don’t explain the what-or-how-of-her-struggles-or-accomplishments. The boy doesn’t pursue the issue with further questioning. Besides, I’m not sure how to answer. Each person learns at a different rate anyway. Ella has been reading for months, at least. Someday I hope to catch up with her when it comes to acceptance of people as they are. However, fine-tuned tongue movements and some motor skills may take her a bit longer to master.

Our little girl is a fresh five-year-old. She has not yet faced the full brunt of prejudice inherent to the life of anyone born outside the so-called norm. The little folk in the pool have not yet learned to recognize the facial characteristics of Down syndrome. Besides, our granddaughter wears them beautifully with her sunshine-white hair and huge blue eyes. They defy the brightness of a perfect summer day. Her smile could melt an iceberg. The children seem to recognize that gift intuitively, knowing she is real and a dependable friend.

The children wave good-bye. Our Y friends stop by our lunch table to say hello, more to Ella than to Jay and me. And that is okay. Ella isn’t worrying about what happens tomorrow—or the next day. She cries when she needs to cry and the tears end easily. She laughs when she recognizes the humor in life. And that happens often.

I’m not saying that every day is easy. But few things that are worthwhile come without effort anyway. I guess Ella is my constant reminder that the world in black-and-white misses out on a lot of color—as well as grey matter. Later I have the opportunity to leave the house to go to another exercise class, if I want to go. But, I don’t want to miss an extra minute with Ella. Not today. She may have a life lesson I will need to use later.

flying turtle

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