I borrowed a dress from the museum costume supplies, she had a corset she had purchased through Amazon, she had boots she wore horseback riding, and I provided the petticoats. The night before, she read up on the person she was to play and even read an article I gave her on the dreaded disease of consumption. She woke up in plenty of time the next morning, we both got into our fancy victorian duds, and hit the road.
She was quiet in the morning, helping me water the garden beds and potted plants. She listened to me interact with all the school groups, and admitted to an unknown talent for croquet.
In the afternoon when she had relaxed we had a marvelous time. We pulled vines and saplings out of some bushes that had been neglected, we collected straw flowers to dry for the winter, and we had a tea party with some pastries I had managed to smuggle in to celebrate her birthday. She even grew bold enough to answer visitors’ questions. We both had fun, but more important, she did exactly what she wanted for her birthday.
I am proud that in the past two years she is calmer, happier, more polite, more self confident, but there is a little part of me that warms when she admits that history is now something she enjoys.
|Alysa in Goodwin Garden.|