/FICTOGRAPHY/ def. — The intersection of photography (submitted by readers) and fiction (written by me!).
This week’s selected photograph comes from a friend of mine, Kathy Binder. Kathy and I have known each other for years, and last year I visited Kathy’s book club and got to know her and her friends even better. What I love most about Kathy is that she has terrific taste. She and I are on Pinterest together, and are constantly pinning each other’s pins. Her photograph depicts the snow we’ve had this year, but I took it in a direction of two young friends, one with a disability.
I hope you enjoy this one. Good friends do matter, no matter what age you are.
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Susie’s & Katie’s Snowwoman
Snow pants. Check.
She was ready. It was the first snowfall of the year, and Susie was ready to take it on. She had everything planned out, because that’s the kind of kid she was. Organized. Methodical. Determined.
She had seen a picture of a snowwoman on her mother’s Pinterest site, and she vowed she would make it with Katie.
Katie had never seen snow—would never see snow. But she could feel it and touch it and taste it. Katie had lost her eyesight at the age of three, her mother told Susie when they moved onto the street, and Susie had more compassion for Katie than she even understood.
“I can’t wait for it to snow,” Katie had said to Susie. “I want to play in it.”
“We will play in it,” Susie said. “You are going to help me build this snowwoman.”
“What snowwoman?” Katie asked.
Susie thought for a second, as she was holding the picture of the snowwoman in her hand that her mother had printed for her on the color printer. She realized Katie could not see it, so she took great care to tell her what she was going to look like. “She is going to have a round body, a round middle, and a round head,” she said. “But not too round. We don’t want people to think she eats too much.” Katie giggled.
Katie’s mother was helping her put on her snow clothing as Susie stood in the foyer, feeling quite warm with all her layers on. At the age of nine, the two girls had quickly become good friends over the course of the last six months.
“What is the snowwoman going to wear?” Katie asked Susie.
“I have it all outside,” she said. “My mother gave me a box of old clothes we can put on her. I have a pink scarf with glitter, old clip on earrings, a very pretty hat, and some colorful buttons. I even have a pair of high-heeled old boots she can wear!”
Katie clapped in delight. “Can I put the buttons on?” she asked Susie.
“Of course…you are going to help me with everything. I can’t do it by myself.”
Katie’s mother zipped up the last zip and helped her walk outside the door. “Have fun, girls,” she called.
For two hours, the girls rolled and sculpted and created their own version of the printed snowwoman.
When it came time for the finishing touches, Susie’s mother came outside to put the hat on top of the snowwoman’s head, as the two were too petite to reach.
“I wish you could see her,” Susie said, breathless and delighted at their creation. She was beaming with pride.
“I can see her,” Katie said. “Because of you I can see it in my imagination. And I know she’s beautiful.”
Susie gave Katie a little squeeze.
“And now the last item gets added,” Susie said, as she handed something to her mother. “Mom, put these sunglasses on her face. We’re going to name her Katie.”