An Only Child

An Only Child

Her self-effacing mother sewed beautiful garments for all three of them.

Hi I'm Judith Norris, Freelance Writer

Once upon a time in a northeastern state of the United States of America, lived the only child of a middle class teacher and his family. Only daughter started learning to play the piano at age seven in the second grade.

Miss Only Child’s mother thought the sun rose and set on her beautiful daughter. She dressed her daughter in handmade clothes that looked like they came out of a fashion magazine.

Though a beautifully talented seamstress, mother’s self-esteem equaled nil or rock bottom on any scale. Mother’s education, limited because her own ailing mother required health assistance. That became mother’s duty.

She married a man who became a degreed teacher. He studied and achieved a master’s degree. This man adored his wife and daughter. His own humble beginnings assumed a gentle spirit. He tried assuring his wife of her worth not only to him, but also to their only child.

That’s it!

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Only child made every effort she could imagine to help her sweet unassuming mother to accept her worth. She wore her mother’s clothes proudly saying,

“My mother designed and handmade this dress.”

Mother remained oblivious to all compliments. She continued her self-effacing manner. The only child tried many times to reassure her mom how important a person she would always be. Mother’s mind remained unchanged.

Her grandparents raising one cousin lived in the house to the north of their house. Another of her mother’s sisters lived on the south side with two other female cousins. Walking next door to found her playmates: one two years older on the left; another four years younger on the right.

In the only child’s very own room were books, dolls, cutouts, and a desk handmade by her daddy. All of those things plus singing and/or playing the piano kept her busy. A vivid imagination conjured up playmates when she happened to be alone.

Alone time never bothered her. She actually enjoyed being by herself. She liked being with her friends also.

Playmates could also be found at school. Only weekends, long summer vacations, or school closed days did she find it necessary to engage someone else for entertainment. Usually, she needed only her imagination to fill the long hours. Sometimes though, it’s good to have another body to play some games.

The Great War II raging in Europe impacted her slightly. Just a baby born in 1940, she didn’t realize war’s ramifications, how war’s impact did to people.

Her dad got his draft notice and entered the US Army. Soon, he received an medical discharge. He’d developed a stomach ulcer. He resumed teaching and coaching.

When the War ended in June 1945, the only child’s life didn’t feel much change. Lifted rations made life easier for every family. The War ended, but life for this four-year-old, who in November of that year became five, seemed to not notice.

With a booming post-war economy, her dad’s good job, and an acre of her grandfather’s land, her daddy began building their small two bedroom, one bath house. An Industrial Arts teacher, carpenter, and general handy man, building a house came easy for him.

Only child’s mother saved her family money by canning vegetables from their garden, picking berries from the mountainside and canning them, sewing clothes for herself and daughter, and cooking delicious meals. She also kept a spotless house, so they didn’t need any outside domestic help.

The thriftiness of this small family, in addition to the moonlighting jobs of Dad, allowed them to have a few luxuries that people in similar circumstances only dreamed. These included an almost new top-of-the-line automobile, summer camp for their daughter, and an all expenses paid college education for her.

Only child loved writing.

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Teaching, Natural Transition

Because her dad came from a family of teacher’s, it seemed natural for this only child to choose teaching. Music, a big part of her life since early childhood stood out in her mind as the best choice for a major.

It became necessary to choose a major instrument. Many pianists who played much better than she. Only child sang well, so voice became her instrument. Though music dominated her life, she continually dabbled in writing.

Only child’s interest in writing always gave her high grades in composition. Even though she did well in music and taught for years, writing stayed foremost in her mind. Many years later, she took a course in writing stories for children.

She wrote twelve short stories for children, ages eight to ten. Instructors praised her writing, insisting she try publishing it. Somehow other things took precedence in her life. Until her husband moved their two person family from Arizona to Florida.

While taking a course from Jon Morrow on Guest Blogging, she found freelance writing and Carol Tice of Make a Living Writing Blog. Now, she has a website, to attract business owners and others to hire her as a freelance writer.

Only Child writes up a storm, so to speak. She still teaches five private piano students. Her goal of having ten piano students fulfills her wish for funding her writing efforts. Halfway there to ten students. Taking a course on Pitching. Not the kind where you pitch a ball. It’s pitching an idea for a story.

The class begins in October. She already has written down four story ideas and the person to whom she will pitch. The class starts in a week. She feels ready to begin.

This saga continues. Stay tuned for more on Only Child.

Music or Writing? Writing Wins!

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