Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sore Throats, Shy Eleanor, and Snow

 
'Have been over the flu less than two weeks and am sick again. A child in my care at work spent yesterday coughing into my neck and shoulder, and I could see my own next bout of sickness coming as surely as my mom used to call me "Typhoid Mary." While Mike has caught up on laundry and whatever else, I've spent most of today and tonight in bed with a book under piles of blankets and quilts beside the space heater.  

I've been reading Joseph Lash's Eleanor and Franklin and grrr-ing over Eleanor Roosevelt's mother's calling her "Granny" as a child due to her plain face and somber manner. Mike has heard my intermittent rants today about how photos of a young Eleanor Roosevelt show a pretty little girl, not at all what I'd consider plain, but regardless, what a rotten thing to make a child believe about herself. And if I had been Eleanor's mom--Eleanor would not have become the Eleanor she became, so it's all good in the end, I KNOW, but--I'd have been kind to her and let her be quiet and thoughtful, if that's what she was, and I'd have helped to build her up and make her feel more secure and not dragged her out in front of company only to refer to her mockingly as "Granny" and reinforce her shyness and thus make her feel even more awkward and ill-at-ease around others. And some people--too many people--have children because they wish to raise new/tiny versions of themselves as kids, and when their children surprise them by being quite different than they are and very much their own people--e.g., an earnest little Eleanor being raised by her outgoing socialite mother--they don't handle it well. Oh, Mike's gotten an earful today. He is probably hoping loss of voice will soon follow my sore throat. But look at her!
 

"Granny," my foot. Grrrrr.  Would you like to sit with me awhile, Eleanor? I don't want to be out there with those women as they chatter about dresses and dinners and debutante balls either. We'll read quietly and play with my cat. Look, he likes you! You're so good with him! How wise you are to care about living things so deeply and to listen to them so closely! And you watch the world with such gorgeous expressive eyes! You know, your mama is good in all kinds of ways, I'm sure, but she doesn't know everything. You, sweet girl, are destined for wonderful things.
 

The world outside my book is beautiful today. The city is coated with maybe three inches of snow, just enough to pretty it up.


 

Back to bed.

10 comments:

kent said...

Snow! We have had flurries here today, and a lot of wind. But, no real snow yet this winter. I'm so sorry you've been sick. Hellebores, snowflakes, crocuses, and daffodils are blooming like crazy. The bees are still coming out when the temps are a little higher. We've spent the day baking, the house smells wonderful. Chester just discovered the finger puppet monster you sent, I have it on a cupboard door. So, I've been mixing while fending off a cat in flight. I hope your throat feels better soon.

Lisa said...

Poor Val! I hope it won't plague you too much longer.
I didn't know Eleanor R. was treated that way by her mother. Unfortunate.

FlowerLady said...

Hope you are feeling much better SOON.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

Nellie said...

Children are not selfish when it comes to sharing their viruses.:-( Sending healthy vibes your way for quick recovering!
I must confess that I haven't read about Eleanor's childhood. She certainly had a life of accomplishment, in my opinion. Very sad that she wasn't made to feel valued as a child.:-( You have a good philosophy when it comes to relating to children, Val.

Carol said...

I hope you feel better! We have had snow today too, about 6-8 inches' worth, which made for some tricky driving on the way to church.

I'm with you on Eleanor's mother. I'd have punched her. (well, probably not but I would have been tempted!)

the REAL girl said...

Snow here as well!!!! Yes, parents can do terrible things to children....Ernest Hemingway's mother dressed him as a girl for many years. He ended up killing himself, AND he spent his living years a heavy drinker and a womanizer...one never knows the problems we can create...I hope you feel better soon; these things can linger so long. Take care.... and thank you for the post.
xo

asmplelife said...

I'm sorry you aren't feeling well again. I kept trying to give my cold away and no one would take it. Did you gargle with salt water? My husband says that makes a sore throat go away.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Gosh, I hate you're sick and for so long. Come to the farm and let me take care of you...I'll give you a choice of dogs and cats to nap with you, feed you lots of homemade soup and good books to read.
Although, the book on Eleanor sounds delightful.
Val, be well soon and then, stay that way -smile-.

Val said...

Thank you all! ♥xox♥♥

Cheeze said...

Makes me think of the little girl in "The Help," who is reminded by her nanny that "you is kind, you is smart, and you is IMPORTANT!" We all need that POSITIVE influence in our lives...

Sounds like Eleanor's mother had some pretty deep-seated issues of her own that she pushed on her daughter...