Monday, January 24, 2011

The Magic Cloth

The Magic Cloth

We went on a three hour picnic. She reminded her foster Mom for weeks ahead of time that we had a three hour picnic scheduled. She usually comes to see me for one hour, but this time it would be three. 
I bought a new cooler, all her favorite foods, packed my camera, and games for after dinner.

She so was excited, so was I. We had never been together outside of the therapy room.
We had our table set, food laid out, drinks, when a family arrived and sat down at the picnic table next to us.

I knew it was coming, it always did. “A cloth, you should have brought a cloth,” she said as the Mom spread out a clean white table cloth.

I tried to defend my lack of planning by pointing out how the wind kept blowing up the edges and they had to use rocks to keep it down. But no matter what I said I could not pull her or all the other children I work with that live in foster homes away from trying to figure out why they are not at the picnic table with the white cloth.

I wish it could be that simple. Bu is it really so different then what I as a therapist, researcher, writer does?  Aren’t we all looking for the magic cloth?
By: Karen Wallace 



The Creative Beast said...

Karen, this story is quite a metaphor for so many things...

- how we tend to focus on what we DON'T have...
- how we seem to think that the grass is greener elsewhere...
- how things would be 'better' if we had the right setting (table cloth?!)

and yet it is SO true that the table cloth would be blowing in the wind so much, that if you had one then the complaint would likely be:
"Why won't this table cloth lie flat?!?!"

Alas! We can't have it all ;)

Karen Wallace said...

Hello. Thanks so much for your response. I work with a lot of children who have been taken out of their homes and live in foster care. They often long to have what they think would be a 'normal' home (like the family next to us with the table cloth). I wrote this with the thought that we are all looking for the secret formula, the thing that will make it O.K. Warmly, Karen


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