Ok, first, I love my mother. Love, love, love her. I do. I loved her before she was my only parent, and I love her more now as I see her navigate her new life alone. Love. My. Mother.
Now, I have a story...
Lately, it seems like my mother is more at home with my aunt and uncle (Dad's only brother) than anywhere else. We visited them over the holiday and one night, in her most at-home-ness, she started telling stories.
Back when we used to take the church kids on field trips, we went to the
Oklahoma State Capitol. One of the kids was fascinated by the portrait of Jim
Thorpe and asked who he was. I told them he was a great Indian---because back
then, we could say Indian!!!!
I hate it when she does this. She knows I hate it. She knows I say Native American, not as much from political correctness as to distinguish them from the Eastern Indian kids in my class. When I explained this, she rolled her eyes and said something horrible about knowing feathers from dots. She continues...
And when I told little church kid that Jim Thorpe won all those Olympic
Medals, he just looked at me with the saucer eyes and said "Wow. Just like
whoosiegirl". Now, what's funny is that whoosiegirl has medals from the Special
Olympics because she's mentally handicapped."
Now, before I finish this story, it's time to say that I also love whoosiegirl. I've tried to teach her to knit and if ever I want a bear hug, whoosiegirl is the one to do it. Her hugs hurt, but they're heartfelt.
But I'm still nursing frustration at her jab at my alleged political correctness, so I swing back.
Back then, we could call them retarded!!!!*
*It bears mentioning that although I might say the d-word, s-word, b-word, and sometimes even the f-word, I say Native American and I don't say retarded.