Max Burkholder as Max Braverman in Parenthood
"Some people have disabilities Max..."
"For you Asperger's is one of those tough things..."
By this point I was yelling at the television, believe me it wasn't pretty.
Then I stopped. For this WAS the reality so many live on this rollercoaster of emotion. This WAS an accurrate portrayal of a father in pain trying to connect and understand this new world early post diagnosis. This WAS truth in television.
Would I ever use those words to my child? Hell no, but we have been on this path from a younger age than this character. We have seen the gifts as well as the hardship, we have lived through the dark days and are now basking in the light.
It is painful and hard for a parent to let go of THEIR aspirations and dreams for their child, not realising that even without Asperger Syndrome those aspirations and dreams may never have been those of the child. And sometimes what we end up with far surpasses anything we could have ever aspired to.
I referred in a past post to a poem Boy 1 wrote when he was seven. We (he and I) have decided to share it again (just remember it is copyrightfully HIS people - if you wish to use it ASK)...
You may think I’m different
The way I think and play
But wouldn’t life be boring
If all was the same way
See I will change this world
A little bit by bit
And when my life is over
This will be my gift
I’ll leave the world a thinking
A mix of logic and my dreams
And there will be no limits
Nothing will seem extreme
Think of it like ice cream
Some are just vanilla
I’m a rainbow swirl
All colours a shimmer!
Copyright Boy 1 2006
Look beyond the diagnosis, look beyond the intervention, the therapies, the anxiety and obsession. Look at what you have, or we have, or your neighbour/cousin/schoolchild or joe blow in the street.
Rainbow swirl. Pretty damn special. By the end of the episode the father is slowly realising he is wrong in his approach, that his vanilla viewpoint may not be the only one. I hope the storyline continues down this path, even if it meanders a little off track.