On this beautiful fall day G read Floppy Mop written by Bobby Lynn Maslen with pictured by John R Maslen
G’s take – It has 12 pages and 4 characters. My favorite is Zack the rat because I like his tail.
A Kennedy book not about any of the famous Kennedys that I already know. I have read a few Kennedy books, but not many. If I have the time to tackle Ted’s bio this month I will, but it may to be too long to accomplish. I loved the inside look at the day to day lives of the Joe and Rose and their nine children. I’d heard more about the ambitious, controlling father than about the mother, so I was intrigued and put off by her at the same time. The Kennedy children are beautiful and brilliant, but Rosemary stood apart because she was different. When she was born, during the height of the Spanish influenza in Boston, a nurse physically held her head inside of her mother after she’d already crowned. I’m still horrified by it. Whether that is what cause her ‘retardation’ we can only assume. I can’t believe that Rose went on to birth 6 more children and live to be 104 after that!
Rosemary was beautiful and, surrounded by her family, could blend in and not be called out for her mental delays. But, with time, it became obvious that all would not be easy as she was removed from one school after another for one reason or another. When the family lived in England Rosemary found a perfect school for her, but the realities of the WWII caused the family to come back to America for their safety and it went downhill for her after that. Joe Sr., who did not come off as terrible dad up to this point in his relation to her, did a terrible thing. He signed up Rosemary for a lobotomy and she was never the same again.
I loved this first half of this book. There was much historical context given and it helped me to keep in mind that these were different times. Having a mentally handicapped daughter was a stigma that people were scared of and the Kennedys were no different. I can’t fault them as parents too much (except for the lobotomy thing) because they did try to find what could help her. A complicated family with so many children and so much tragedy. Because of Rosemary, the Kennedy family will be forever known for their work for the mentally challenged. Quite an achievement for the sister who had a hard time fitting in and bore the greatest injustice at the hands of her father.