A few nights ago, Jason and I sat down to watch some television after we put Willy to bed. I consider my husband and I t.v. junkies, to put it sweetly. We never really watch anything when it’s on, so we DVR just about everything.
I don’t know what I’d do with out my DVR. I love it so. 🙂
Anyway, “Parenthood” was at the top of our que, so we watched it first. Do you watch that show? I’ve been a big fan of Parenthood since day one, and I’ve always found it to be cute, honest (to some degree), and hopeful. But, last weeks episode kind of threw me for a loop. I wasn’t expecting to feel the way that I did, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to still be haunted by it now.
Here’s a recap of the scene that bothered me: Max (a 14-15 year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome comes into a photo shop to do some “work.”) Hank (the store owner is in the middle of a photo shoot for a clothing company.) Max comes into the store after school and asks Hank if he can help him (Max) develop his film. Even though Hank promised Max that he would help him develop his film the day before, he was in the middle of a photo shoot for a very important client, and couldn’t stop what he was doing and help Max at that moment. Max started to get angry. He was shouting “you promised! you promised! You broke your promise and that makes you a liar! Max immediately starts throwing what looked like expensive camera equipment, as well as paper and other things. He then ran out of the store, and Hank ran after him and tried to get him to stop, but Max refused and was too angry to listen.
Clearly that entire scene, which lasted for maybe a minute or two, left it’s mark on my husband. As the scene ended and the commercials began, Jason and I sat in silence. It was an uncomfortable silence.
He finally turned to me and asked, “do you think Willy will be like that when he’s a teenager?” I immediately brushed it off with “no’s,” and “this is just a television show,” and “that isn’t our kid,” and a few other comments that I can’t remember. But, in that situation that we saw on t.v., was earily similar to some of things that we deal with when Willy gets mad in real life. He’s only four, but he yells, throws things, and will run to his room to get away from the situation when he gets mad. As hard as my husband and I try, we can’t get our son to stay calm and breathe, and “use his words” when he gets frustrated or mad. Everything just seems to go blank for him and he forgets all of the tools that he’s learned thus far.
I truly believe (and no I am not in denial) that he will out grow some of the rage that he exhibits when he’s older, and can understand better that you can’t always get what you want, when you want it. But for now, I guess we will continue to be haunted by that scene from Parenthood for a while until we can figure this out.
I know that no parent truly has it all together, but what I want other people to know it that parenting is HARD! It’s even harder when your child has special needs. No, it’s not a crutch… but it is the truth. It does something to you on the inside that gives you your own personal, yet invisible, scarlet letter on the outside. It changes you; your attitude. It plays with your emotions; good and bad. But more so, it constantly makes you wonder about your child’s future; where will they end up, who will they become, will they have their own scarlet letter to bare, their own demons to battle?
I can’t let one little television show affect/dictate how I view my child. Especially when he’s a teenager! So, I will leave you with this. Just love your kids. Teach them all you can about acceptance, tolerance, patience, love, kindness, good deeds, friendship, and most importantly… family, and where they come from. Just take it one day at a time, and sometimes… it’s one hour at a time. Let them know that you will always be there for them and your arms are always open… because you are their sunshine.
Happy Monday and back to the grind.