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Location: New York, New York, United States

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Kids say the ... well, you know the rest

Highlights from my 7-year-old nephew's visit to New York:

"You could have just wrapped them up and mailed them to us." His response to my giving him his Christmas presents in July.

"This is going to be awesome, isn't it?" When he got out of the car to go see the Statue of Liberty.

"The best thing about it is that I've got my whole family here. It wouldn't be as cool if it was just my friends."

"Hey, there's children there!" Yelled out in the middle of the dark theater during the documentary about Ellis Island.

"Do you live in one of those things that a lot of people live in?" About my living in an apartment building.

"I'm about as tired as a bear who just fell asleep after getting hit by a man with a bow and arrow."

"I wanna rock and roll all night, and party everyday!" His rendition of his favorite song.

"Cheers to a great day!" While holding up water glass and toasting, after the waiter had served all our drinks at Tony's.

"I gave him the moon!" His present to his father on his 30th birthday. As in he pulled his pants down.

"Honk! Honk! Honk! Honk!" Yelling at traffic.

"Are you a teenager?" Asking me about my age. And making my day.


Blogger SteevB said...

Dear Laura: I read your blog "How God made me a Hunter" because I have a 17 year old daughter with Duane's syndrome who just finished driver's ed and wants to take her driving test. I am worried about her for all the reasons you mention, and because I had a student with Duane's in both eyes who struck and killed a pedestrian stepping off the sidewalk. I found your blog by googling "Duane's, teenager, driver." Thanks for your honesty. I can't say I am any less worried now.. maybe I am more worried... but at least I can get an impression of what it might be like for my daughter. She does not talk much about how Duane's affects her life, but I see similarities in your touching blog. Did you have trouble keeping up with reading in high school? My daughter is very bright and does well in school, but a book that takes her friends a few days to read can take her weeks. It is frustrating for her, and I think she doesn't always get the recognition she deserves because her success in school comes with a big struggle. Anyhow, I just wanted to say I appreciated your post.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Steev. I hope this works -- not sure if this will get back to you, or when you commented on this.

I never really had any problems driving, except for that one time I mentioned in my essay. As I said, I was a very reliable driver. I was going through a hard time dealing with my dad's death when I wrote this, and trying to feel some empathy for the teenaged girl who caused it. Of course, her causing it had nothing to do with Duane's syndrome -- it had more to do with negligence. And that she had no business driving an SUV.

I'm not sure how bad your daughter's duane syndrome is. I don't talk about it often either, but one of the main reasons I wrote this was because I was going through a period of my life that required shifting my perspective a little bit, and I was wondering about how flaws can really be gifts, and how really nothing is an accident. Duane's is an odd thing to have, but I can't imagine my world any other way.

It could be much worse. It's such a piddling little disability. I guess I might be a slow reader because of it, but I've never really thought about that. I always thought it was just because I'm a thorough reader. I excelled in school and work as a journalist and editor now, so it hasn't held me back as far as that goes. In fact, as I said in the essay, I think Duane's has helped me in the literary world ... it requires a great deal of focus and attention to detail to pursue editing and writing, and my tendency to look straight ahead and ignore things on the right helps me with that.

Strangely enough, I have started driving again recently. And I live in a city where people run amok in the streets (Baltimore) mainly due to apathy, so I have to be extra cautious.

Duane's just requires that people become extra cautious to compensate for it. I'm sure your daughter will be okay -- and it will help her out later in life when in certain situations, I'm sure she'll be more likely to be considerate instead of reckless.

Thanks so much for your comment! It really made my day!

4:52 PM  

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