Archive for February, 2009

Mommy’s Birthday

Friday, February 13th, 2009

So, today, Friday the 13th, is my birthday! It didn’t start out so great, with the first hour or so that Maggie was awake being spent trying to clean puke off of Maggie and Mr. Teddy, with limited success. But, I did get to spend some time with my baby before she left for a weekend with Grandma and Grandpa! Here are some cute pics of her from this morning (my photos to look at while missing her this weekend).

How’s Your News - My Review

Monday, February 9th, 2009

I have to say that the show last night was everything I hoped it would be in all areas except for one…I wished it was longer than 30 minutes. I had great expectations for this show, and it completely exceeded those expectations. To accurately describe what I was hoping for, though, will require a fairly lengthy explanation.

I think I’m a pretty open-minded person. I don’t get offended by very many things, and I am not terribly concerned with being politically correct. I like to laugh at off color remarks, and I enjoy a lot of completely tasteless jokes. I’ll even admit that I have enjoyed some jokes about the misfortunes of others, and I’m not above laughing at jokes made at my own expense.I try to not take myself too seriously, for many reasons, but mostly because I realize that the world does not owe me anything. I have the right to “pursue happiness”, which does not mean that the world is supposed to make sure I’m happy.

I think too many people in this country misunderstand this right, and have become self absorbed and whiny, and spend way too much time worrying about who they might offend. We also have the right to free speech, which people seem to have forgotten. These are things which make this country great, and you can’t start making exceptions, no matter how well intentioned you are, because then where would you draw the line? And who says when to draw the line?

I’m not cold-hearted, or unsympathetic, or mean…I’m equal opportunity. Why wouldn’t I laugh at someone for doing something funny just because they’re “different?” And why should I feel awkward about it? They’re people too, and they have just as much of a right to act like a jackass as I anyone else. I think that’s my big thing. Just because someone is missing some genes, has a weak chin, or is missing one leg, has 4 nipples or pees the bed until they’re 12, shouldn’t make them exempt from the trials and struggles, joys and rewards that everyone else goes through. If you treat a child like they’re weak and unable to defend themselves, that’s what they will be. If you challenge them, and let others challenge them, you might be surprised at how well they can handle themselves.

This is actually a fairly edited version of my thoughts on this topic, but I did want to give some explanation as to my feelings on the treatment of people with disabilities. The short version is that I was worried, because of these beliefs that I hold about the way the world works, that this show would not get off the ground due to some public outrage at the treatments of the show’s stars. With all of this being said, I was really looking forward to the premiere of How’s Your News. I was so excited because they was finally going to be something that would let the general population of this country see people like this, knowing full well that they would be taking a chance that they would “fail” and be “laughed at.” They deserve this. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to be entertaining and funny? We can’t they be silly? There is absolutely no reason that they should not be able to go out and make fun of themselves, or let other people laugh at them. They’re adults, and if they’re happy with what they’re doing, why should we worry about it? This is an amazing opportunity for these people, and we should all be happy for them. They have a job. There are millions of people in this country right now who can’t say that, so I think they’re pretty lucky.

I thought the show was done really well. It was funny, and definitely had some send-me-into-the-giggles moments. Like when Sue is talking to the guy about the legalization of marijuana, and as he rides off, he says “I’ve gotta go smoke some pot,” and the look Sue has on her face. Or when Jeremy is talking about being really excited to see Michael Bolton. I got really tickled when all I could understand of what Bobby said for like five minutes was “Boo-yahh!” And I love how Sue curses like a sailor.

The thing I loved most? That they were real. They were fun, funny, sweet, crass…that’s what people are like. Those shows about people with disabilities that make them all seem like heroes are great I guess, and it is good to recognize the struggles that come with disabilities, but I always felt like they forgot the life that happens in between the “hero” moments. Why do we have to focus on the extraordinary? I think that makes people feel more like a “story” than a real person. How’s Your news shows you the life, and the trivial, not quite so “Lifetime movie” moments in the lives of these people. And I love it :)

And here’s what I hope that this show will accomplish, if nothing else: when people see someone like this on the street, they won’t immediately ignore them or turn away in disgust. Maybe this will get enough exposure for people who are different that people won’t think as much about it when they see them in real life. They won’t be so taken aback when they’re spoken to by someone with Down Syndrome at the bus stop, or when someone with cerebral palsy comes to their yard sale. On the other hand, maybe people will see that they don’t always need someone to think for them and treat them like fragile little porcelain dolls. Maybe they’ll just treat them like they would anyone else. For better or for worse, at least it would be equal. And as parents, isn’t that the best we can hope for?

Now, the part I was debating on whether or not I should write down…the reaction the show gave me that I wasn’t counting on. I look at Maggie for hours everyday, and only about once a week do I look at her and see Williams Syndrome. I see the pictures of kids online, and in the WSA brochures, and I know she looks like them, but I don’t usually see it. I see Maggie. And even though we have therapy three times a week, and I’m always paying medical bills for her echos and check ups, and thinking about our next trip to Kentucky, I don’t think about WS that much. I’m blessed with a daughter who is doing pretty well, and my own ability to tune things out until I need them. Watching How’s Your News broke that a little. Why is it more real after seeing someone with WS on MTV? Today, I saw WS in her face. I saw it in the way she was holding her hands out in front of her when she walked, with her elbows bent and her little wrists limp, kind of like a TRex. I know she has WS…but even though I know it, certain things will happen every now and then and its almost like it hits me just like it did the day we found out about her SVAS and heard WS mentioned for the first time. Maybe I do too good of a job treating her like a typical kid, and I forget sometimes that she is missing a few pieces that ought to be there. Maybe I’m still in denial, or maybe I’m coping exactly like I should be. Its just weird when something hits so close to home.

But, regardless of that whole thing, I still thought the show was awesome, and I was glad I watched it :)

How’s Your News!

Sunday, February 8th, 2009

How’s Your News premiers tonight on MTV! Please check it out, as there are three guys with Williams Syndrome on the show, and I’ve heard its probably going to be pretty funny. Its apparently not the standard show about people with disabilities, where they chronicle their struggles and shows uplifting tales of love and determination. The big question is: Is it offensive? I haven’t seen it, so I don’t exactly know what to expect, but I’m going to post a review about it later tonight or tomorrow, and go over all of my thoughts on the situation.

Here’s the link to the site:

http://www.howsyournews.com/

Please watch, at least to see what it about, and to support these awesome, funny people :)