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Who Knew

Bill Mauldin was such a little elf of a man?  I sure didn't, not until reading his biography the last couple of days.  I'd always imagined him as some version of Willie and Joe, off in France, quaffing root beers with Snoopy on Veteran's Day.  Yesterday I finished reading "Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front," by Todd DePastino.  It was a quick read, as it seemed to leave out a lot of personal detail, but then again, that didn't seem to be the focus of the biography.  It was fascinating to read his interactions with the Army hierarchy in WWII, especially his meeting (mandated by Eisenhower!) with a petulant Patton.  Mauldin's (and DePastino's) Patton was a far cry from George C. Scott's heroic version.  DePastino wrote about Charles Schulz and Bill Mauldin meeting, and that Schulz explained to Mauldin that he had been an infantryman in France, thus Snoopy's annual root beer quaffing with Mauldin on Veteran's Day.  (Now that I know Mauldin was such a little elf of a man, I'll enjoy my mind's picture of that annual visit even more.)  As a veteran, I always loved that Schulz did that, honored the holiday every year in such a matter-of-fact but still respectful way.

Now I'm reading "American Eve: Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, the Birth of the "It" Girl, and the Crime of the Century," by Paula Uruburu.  With a title that comprehensive, it almost seems a waste of time to read the book, but what the heck, I'll do it anyway.  Nesbit's story goes to show, again, that there is nothing new under the sun.  Stage mothers have probably been around since there have been beautiful daughters.  Mothers marketing their daughters is just a counter-intuitive version of the mindset that leads to dishonor killings: women as commodities, as property whose value can be diminished by real or perceived damage.  Sigh.

Yesterday KidThree's doctor visit was successful.  Two hours and everything done, or at least in process.  We got all necessary prescriptions, a referral to another specialist, and explanations on a couple of things.  These appointments are more like a welfare check than anything else.  A social worker checked on KidThree's personal and scholastic life, then a resident did a thorough medical history of the past six months and took down all our questions, which he in turn took to the physical medicine doctor.  That doctor then joined the group and facilitated the necessary paperwork.  The last time we were there, KidThree was still at the stage of glaring at all healthcare professionals for having the nerve to think they got to ask questions about her personal life, but yesterday it was clear she was past that.  She talked to the doctors herself, instead of having everything go through me--she answered their questions and they answered hers.  It was good to see such progress, as eventually KidThree isn't going to want her mama to go to all her medical appointments.  There wasn't time for the last two pieces of paperwork to get done (letters of medical necessity for Victims' Comp reimbursement), but we'll be given those when we go to Group tomorrow.  One of those letters will set in motion our efforts to get KidThree an FES bike, that wonderful bike that she 'rode' at the gym this summer.  (The bike is electronic, with electrodes put on KidThree's legs and bottom to stimulate her muscles into contracting so that they actually push the pedals.  It is an amazing thing, and will help prevent muscle atrophy and bone loss.)

This morning it's back to the orthodontist, as KidThree lost two brackets.  One of these days those braces will be finished and we won't have to make these emergency treks anymore.  

No news still from KidTwo.  No news from her daddy, either.  Maybe their internet isn't working in their new apartment.  Maybe they've been in a traffic accident where all their fingers were broken.  Maybe the baby poured apple juice on all their keyboards.  Maybe they were outside the Red Zone after curfew.  Maybe it's just a matter of time before their bodies are discovered.   Blast.  This is not good for the maternal blood pressure.  You might think that because KidTwo is twenty years old, I would be okay with silence from that quarter, but no, it doesn't work like that.  This is why my mother just laughs when she tells us all that "the first forty years is the hardest!"

On that slightly preoccupied note, I'll sign off and go get ready for the day.