By Lainie Cohen
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Extra info for Crooked Smile: One Family's Journey Toward Healing
She'd awaken, gurgling and cooing and would play with her dolls, delighting in the movement of their eyes, their rigid eyelashes opening and closing when she tilted them up and down. Sometimes, when I came in to get her, she'd be hard at work undressing them, tiny plastic shoes pulled off and her fingers awkwardly tugging at pinafores fastened with Velcro. 29 Daniel was different. By the time I'd hurried upstairs and had flung open the door to his room, Teddy and his other stuffed animals were scattered about the floor, while there he stood, one leg raised high, trying to climb out of the crib by himself.
Every ten minutes or so, he heads off to the payphone to make another call. " I ask Alyssa. She checks with a nurse. An hour and forty-five minutes go by. Instead of the surgeon, in walks the resident, who had assisted in the surgery. He's tall, and when he folds his body into one of the chairs, his knees rise up high in front of him. " He leans forward towards us, eager to share the news. "We're pleased with the success of the operation. " We listen warily. We're becoming familiar with hearing bad news couched amidst the good.
Jonathan doesn't answer. Instead he reaches for his sister and lifts her over his shoulder, parading her around the room. "Put me down," she giggles. " Laughing, he dumps her onto the other couch. "I hope you're more gentle with the camp equipment," she admonishes. " Jonathan flings himself onto her lap and she wraps her arms around him, hugging him. When he tries to squirm away, she tosses him over beside her and tickles him. "Hey, stop that. No fair," he says, wriggling out of her reach. Surprisingly, Joel and I laugh.