In case you are slow to know, there’s a new show out there. One that speaks for US, the families of the speechless. It’s funny! Hey, we have incredibly funny lives at times. It has great lines like….”Other people’s opinions are nothing. You know what’s NOT nothing is a doctor who tells you there’s something wrong with your kid … It’s like, what else you got? … We’re not normal. We’re better. We’re bulletproof.” It’s just chock full of how siblings are affected, the over the top way sometimes people go to prove they’re accepting of disabilities, as a plus for those of us who have battled principals and special ed directors-they get played as a bit dimwitted (hurray, real life) and the mom is played brilliantly by Minnie Driver, a composite of special needs moms everywhere. But, what I want to touch on, really, is that it’s funny. Not everyone is going to catch all the funny parts, because like a Disney movie with hidden adult jokes that go over the heads of kids, our lives are like that. Whoosh, the funny goes right over some people’s heads.
My oldest daughter said to me yesterday, “Mom, I should write down the things that you say, no one would believe that they are completely normal!” What did I say?…. Hold, on Debbie, I’m shortening Katelin’s straw.” What can I say, the straw was too long, no way for her to hold the cup low enough to drink out of it, so, yup I bit off a big chunk of it. That’s our lives, adaption as we go.
Take the time we were walking in the mall and the over head TV goes…”the average American household uses 1.5 rolls of paper towels in a month.” My oldest and I both, without saying a word to the other, stopped, looked at the TV in shock and laughed so hard, tears streaming down our face, that people must’ve thought we were nuts. We still laugh about it and that was years ago. As a matter of fact, when she moved out on her own after a month or so she called me and said…”MOM! guess what. I only used one roll of paper towels this month!!”
And over the years, I’ve laughed pretty damn hard, I’m sure we all have, over what “normal” people would find horrifying. Like the time Katelin went through a phase where she liked to chew on strangers’ shoe laces. Or the times she’s stolen food off of other people’s plates, strangers and family. Or the time when she was 8 and we’re in McDonalds and my son comes up to me (he was 6) and goes…”I don’t know her” and I turn around and she’s taken off her shirt and is trying to make snow angels on the floor of McDonald’s. Or the time she undressed in the car, and decided it was a good time to poop, and when I pulled over, a cop came up behind me… now, really just how can all of that be explained??? You HAVE to laugh, because Life is so much stranger than fiction. I can’t even count the number of times or situations that just are so implausible that if you aren’t the parent of a special needs child you 1. would hardly believe it and 2. definitely wouldn’t find it funny.
Now, just like in this show, you all know our lives are not easy, but we have to find our humor where we can; so, our days ARE often filled with laughter, and now we get to see ourselves played out on the screen and laugh. We are often THAT mom, the little bit crazy, going to go off on you if our kid doesn’t get what they need or deserve. We go over and beyond to shelter them, make their lives easier, and sometimes we screw up, but hey….WE’RE BULLETPROOF, so we can laugh at ourselves up there on the screen for all the world to see. And, one of the funniest parts about it all, I bet most “normal” people think it’s an over the top comedy, when in fact, it’s just our normal, everyday, not “normal” funny life.