Thursday, 16 December 2010

My brown eyed girl.

She glides into the living room where we all sit huddled round the fire.

I am momentarily taken aback by her beauty, grace and elegance. She arranges herself on the sofa and instantly it changes from a shabby non descript collection of cushions into a chic chaise longue made of finest silk velvet.

There is something quite elusive about her, something fey and otherworldly. Her long chestnut brown hair falls in a rich curtain down her back and she gazes in to the distance with magnificent brown eyes.

I have not spoken much about her when I have written but I feel a little maudlin just now, perhaps it is just this time of year....

She was born on a lovely autumn afternoon. It was so warm and I felt completely unafraid when I was admitted to the Maternity Unit. Instinct told me this was a daughter.

They cut her from my womb and later that evening, once I came to properly, the nurses handed her over to me.
I looked at her dark hair and held her tiny hand then cuddled her to me. She latched on beautifully and I held her close.

The doctor came by a short while later.
"What is wrong with my child?" I asked her. I could not put my finger on it but there was something...
Doctor checked. "Nothing obvious" came her reply. "What do you think is wrong?"

I had no idea and felt embarrassed to have asked. I just knew something felt not quite right somehow.

She grew into toddlerhood and loved to come with me in the morning to feed all the hungry mouths, was completely fearless faced with a clocky, puffed up hen or the shed full of goats all pushing to get fed first. She laughed a lot but never spoke.
We would read to her or ask if she needed anything or how did her day go, she still never spoke but would fix you with an old fashioned look. The brown eyes so old and wise.

She had such a struggle at school and kept silent about the beatings she received at lunchtime - I found the bruises on her little body when I bathed her. She never went to that school again.
We managed to find another school who promised to protect her and she settled in. We asked the local authority to help us find out why she was different. They did not want to know.

I am going to skip her primary school years and fast forward to her secondary ones.
The local authority chose a 'unit' for her in a city school. She said she would run away. We decided to home educate her while the Battle commenced.

She did so well at home and loved cooking, gardening, music, nature lessons down at the burn (stream), she loved art galleries and the ballet (when it came to the big town).
She had no comprehension of money, danger, how to count or add and was extremely vulnerable. She also had no friends - I have little to say about the children whom she attended school with but invites to birthday parties or Christmas parties were non existant. Our daughter did not have a best friend, simply no friends at all.

We found an amazing school and she went for a couple of days to be assessed. She loved it and told me when she returned home that "All the others are just like me, Mum".
We took the local authority to court and with the help of an brilliant Education Lawyer and wonderful Educational Psychologist, (after possibly one of the most harrowing weeks of my life), we won our case.

She started the school soon after and began to bloom. Her confidence grew and she had a Best Friend as well as a tight knit group of friends.
She began to hold her head up and take notice of a bigger world. She began to make eye contact. She tells me that she feels really happy in her heart to go to school and her friends call her for lengthy chats on the phone.

You would fight like a tiger to keep that happiness and God Knows we did.

The school are gently steering her towards a curriculum whereby her natural skills will be honed and help her in later life.
There are so many things that I fear for the future....how will she manage to get on a bus alone and cross town, how will she manage with money, driving, trusting strangers.....it is endless.
She is finally asleep now, I just checked and I look on her beautiful sleeping face and think how lucky we are to have her. She is such a rare soul.

She is safe now.
I pray that is how it will be for her always....

3 comments:

  1. She sounds wonderful & beautiful :)

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  2. I too have a child like your wonderful daughter.. he's nearly 14 now and so innocent. His schooling has been happy (special school) but the future looms fast and scares me so much .. but we will try to help him be as independent as he can...

    I LOVE reading your blog (I'm a MNetter), as does my teen daughter. You have a wonderful talent for writing:)

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  3. Not for the first time, tears.
    We would all fight and die for our children and their happiness but few of us thankfully ever have to fight that fight, you have and have done yourself, your family and your wonderful daughter proud.
    I raise a toast you you and yours, all the best x

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