Dr Niamh's Plum Tree Creative Community

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The Window by C.C. Cole.

As a follow-up to our anthology of happy and sad stories from childhood: Every Child is Entitled to Innocence, I asked C.c. Cole to give us some background to her very generously contributed piece, The Window.

“The Window” by C.C.Cole

When I decided to write the blog post “The Window,” it is, as written fact-based.  In very rural settings, every family knows every family, from great grandparents to preschoolers.  The teachers belong to many of these families.   What’s interesting, as I’ve become an adult are the consistencies that occur regardless of socioeconomic status.  In other words, though I grew up in rural poverty, I learned by seeing what “better off” families can go through and didn’t find much of a bargain.

In my family, though well below poverty level, lines were clearly drawn to hold up appearances.  No dirty laundry to be aired in the public, which is a cliché for the rich, but no less true for the poor.  Also kids don’t like discussing bad events at home; it’s feels like betrayal and the only feeling is shame.

The boy in “The Window” I had known from the first day at school.  At our age, we didn’t “hang out.”  From common gossip, we kids at school (all of us were rural poor in a very small school) generally had an idea which kids had parents prone to drink, give harsh punishments, or prone to unstable behavior.

The boy was curious, in a pre-adolescent way; and had no business at the house or looking in the window.  What he found was more than he expected; instead of girls in nightgowns he found a true nightmare.

I knew we had prowlers around our house at night.  When he asked me about my parents, I knew the only way he could know was to look through the window.  (As above, no kid asked another kid that question, ever.) When he said “My parents fight too,” I knew he was telling the truth because his sister told me years before their natural mother died and had problems at home.  But did I have anything else to say to a prowler?  No.  I didn’t think he was there to harm us, but he saw the ugly secrets I faced at home, why I did my homework in study hall, why I never took a book home and why I felt shame.

There’s no “binding” I found amongst kids from turbulent homes, and since those days, I’ve known others that endured worse.  For some reason, I knew my way out was my brain and I put it to as good use as I could.  If there was ever an example of “negative reinforcement” then I’m a prototypical example.

http://www.shevata-cccole.blogspot.com/

Got your copy of Every Child yet? All proceeds to Child Help Line International http://www.amazon.com/Every-Child-Entitled-Innocence-ebook/dp/B0077E6F60

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About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books. www.drniamh.co.uk

3 comments on “The Window by C.C. Cole.

  1. karenselliott
    March 22, 2012

    Shame and embarrassment keep many secrets. Excellent post, C.c., Niamh.

    Like

  2. C.C.Cole (@gastarbooks)
    March 22, 2012

    Thank you NIamh!

    Like

  3. Betty Dravis
    March 25, 2012

    Wow, C.C., it’s very enlightening of you to share more about you than we found in your story in EVERY CHILD. Congrats on growing into the fine, caring person you are today. We all love you…

    I Tweeted this, of course.

    Thanks for sharing…once again. It can’t be easy sharing painful memories, but it’s a great purge, I understand.

    Hugs – Betty ❤

    Like

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