The Linnet's Wings :Take All My Loves, My Love - Page 94

The Linnet´s Wings About this time, our five year old brother came to stay with us. We didn’t know we had a brother. George was adorable. He was blond and blue eyed, like my sister. Mary was extremely happy. She now had a willing daddy for playing with her dolls, which let me off to go read on the porch. Playing house was not my forte. On the contrary, George loved playing with dolls. I was delighted as I now had both a sister and a brother to play with and most of all to tease, which I continued to do at every opportunity. Although Mary and I were excited to have a brother, George was not at all happy about living with us. He did not understand our odd mixed bag of English and Italian dialect, and desperately want- ed to go back home, despite having being mistreated there. He had been there since he was a baby, and it was all he knew. He missed the two older boys from his old foster home that played with him, and asked for them often. Due to George’s bedwetting, his el- derly foster mother had been keeping a pile of papers on the closet floor for his bed where he slept each night with a pillow and an old blanket. Someone re- ported the woman to the Catholic Bureau, who then removed George and placed him with Zia Maria, while the other two boys continued to stay with the foster parent. George took to running away at least a couple times a week. At first, I would run after him, round and round the block, pleading for him not to leave, until I realized he was afraid to cross the street. After that, I sat and waited on the front steps until he grew tired. After a few laps, he would sit down beside me, neither of us saying a word, his small shoulders still shuddering from sobbing, until he quieted, and we rose together to go inside. turning to school. George was contented to be going into kindergarten. He was told by the nun during his registration that there would be other little boys to play with. At school, my sister and I knew from the start that we did not fit in with these children, with their references to Mommy and Daddy, birthday cele- brations with presents, new bicycles, street and ice skates for Christmas. These kids went to the shore every summer. The nearest we got to a body of wa- ter was the orphan’s summer camp the year before. I had never been in a pool, so walked straight through under the dividing chain to the deep-end of the pool and sank clear to the bottom. I had to be resuscitated. There were so many children in the pool, at first no one noticed. When I was revived, I was more embar- rassed than scared with all those grown-ups standing around me, and tried to scamper off, but was instead taken to the infirmary for the day. On the same camp trip, Mary and I snuck out one night to explore. We picked and ate a batch of small wild onions from plants we found in the woods, tasty, but we got food poisoning. We spent the next couple days running in and out of the bath- room. In school I did not make friends easily. For me it was a lack of trust in pretty much everyone but my immediate small family. Not long after I returned to school, in addition to fainting spells, I would sometimes nod out, miss- ing minutes of time during classes. I would come to, not understanding where we were in the lesson, and anxiously try to catch up. Some of the kids made fun of my dozing off spells. One day while walking home from school, a group of girls walking behind were taunting me. I *** was trying to ignore them but they persisted. One of the larger girls suddenly ran up, and slammed me to The summer flew by. Mary and I dreaded re- the ground so hard that my four front teeth popped 94