I have many friends from grammar school and high school and friends that I've met through work, through Steve, the boys and Maggie, but I really have only one friend from college with whom I am in regular contact. It is my college roommate, Clare, who lives in Stockton with her teenage daughter Anne Marie. They make the two hour trek to San Francisco regularly and we always spend some time and laughs together.
Anne Marie has always referred to Maggie as her friend, and treats her as such. This is most unusual. Little kids tend to be a little afraid of Maggie and older kids are generally busy doing other things. Not Anne Marie. She was never afraid of Maggie or her equipment in the least. The two of them used to read Junie B. Jones books together and share music. As they got older, Ann Marie treated Maggie like a peer. I love that.
In addition to being a sweetheart, Anne Marie is quite artistic and has an excellent fashion sense. When I complemented her on a dress she was wearing at a party, she said she was going to give it to Maggie. That dress arrived on their next visit, along with the prom dress Maggie wore last year. Both dresses had to be altered a bit to fit Ms. Maggie's little girl frame, but they were grown up dresses and she loved both.
Now Anne Marie is in high school and she has an independent assignment for this year. She can choose to do anything that is approved, but she has to plan and execute it on her own. If it doesn't work out, that's ok because often projects don't work. The lesson is in the planning and the trying. Anne Marie contacted me to ask if it was ok if she could use Maggie for her project. When I heard what it was, I jumped at the chance.
She is going to design and make a dress for Maggie to wear to her prom this year. She wants to make sure it is something that will work for Maggie with her wheelchair and her trach and all her other bells and whistles. I was delighted and Maggie was over the moon! She loves the hand me downs, but imagine, an AMH original design!!!
Clare and Anne Marie came over a couple of weeks ago so that Anne Marie could interview Maggie about what she wants and what special things are needed. Here they are conferring away. Anne Marie is showing Maggie one of the several designs she had already drawn, including one with a removable scarf for Maggie's trach. I was blown away by her creativity and her thoughtfulness.
Maggie loved every single one of them and when Anne Marie asked about colors, Maggie said yes to all of them. It didn't really narrow her choices much, but it definitely demonstrated how excited Maggie is about this. We also talked about the pesky straps that come up through Maggie's legs making dresses almost impossible to wear. (We always have matching shorts underneath) Anne Marie will take that into consideration when she finalizes her designs.
I will keep you updated as the project moves forward. We anticipate more meetings and perhaps a fitting or two as well.
If Anne Marie's teacher is reading this, please give her an A. She has made one girl and her mother extremely happy. And that should count for something.