Most Popular Post

Monday, 14 March 2016

Play

She was fun to be around. Margie was a little older and her brother was my age. With another friend, Mary, we played every day during the summer in Maddox Cove, Newfoundland. My grandmother said, "The days aren't long enough for 
those youngsters."

Margie, Mary, Bernard and I were inseparable. First thing in the morning, we'd be busy. We always had a play "on the go." Our play involved getting rocks, an easy thing since we're talking about Newfoundland,  and building a rock wall of a particular shape, such as a circle, with a space to allow entry. This area was the play. Here we played school, house or store. Everyone had a role, and we delighted in finding props to bring to the play. We spent endless hours there, often near my grandparents' house or near the homes of the other children. As we got older, the play became more elaborate, with rooms, and higher walls.

When not at the play, we played games with the other kids, red rover, hide and seek, statues, marbles, tag, and skipping, hopscotch or jacks.  Swimming in the river or at the beach was a favourite pastime as well. Plays were for the morning, swimming in the afternoon and games in the early evening in front of the old school.

Margie was a great student in our school, loved shopping or working at our store and was an important part of our play family. As time went on, Mary, Bernard and I left the play and the props. What I didn't understand was that Margie had Down's Syndrome though she was just like us. It wasn't until I left the dolls and she didn't that I really understood the impact it would have on her life. That conversation with Mom was bewildering and sad. How could this be?  

I later learned about the extra chromosome and all the resultant biological implications. However, this depersonalized information didn't describe the person I knew; the fun, happy, loving person who was my friend.

12 comments:

  1. I've never had a friend with Down's Syndrome. I think you were very lucky to know her and to realize that she was different but not any less of a person. Thank you for sharing this lovely story of your dear friend. Do you still see her at all?

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had a cousin called Mary who apparently was severely Downs Syndrome, but I never met her, she died before I was born. Sadly, she seemed to be a big secret and was kept at home all the time.
    I took TessaDog to the dog park yesterday and there was a Down's syndrome teenager there with her mum and her dog.... she was a sweet girl and loved to show me her Barbie story book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The common thing was to hide the children away. I'm glad it has changed.

      Delete
  3. A beautiful story of a beautiful friendship!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the relationship made an impression on me for life.

      Delete
  4. I left a longer comment, but something went haywire. You've written a lovely tribute to your friend. I don't know if I'm psychic, but your writing put me in mind of Alice Munro, and this was before I read your post below.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Schmidleysscribblins. I admire Alice's work so much.

      Delete
  5. Sweet childhood memories of a friend.

    ReplyDelete