Friday, November 23, 2012

I feel for you, Rudolf

We talked about Christmas all day. Pulling out decorations, bringing the Christmas movies and books out from the back of the cabinet all nicely lined up right up front for easy access. And tonight, me and the kids curled up after dinner and enjoyed the first movie of the season. Rudolf.

Fiona sat leaned back, laying her sweet smelling soft blond hair on my chest as she twirled it as she does when she is a bit sleepy. This movie hit me in a completely different way the first Christmas after she was born. One of those moments where I thought a little too deeply about this whole new special needs/different path we are on. I cried quiet tears through the whole movie that first Christmas, as Rudolf got made fun of, out-casted, and belittled by both peers and parents all for being created different. My heart broke as jolly Santa exclaimed to Rudolf's dad "You should be ashamed", referencing being ashamed he created a son that was different and odd. As parents forbid their children to play with him and as the kids laughed. I had never thought so deeply about this children's story before. And the same thoughts flooded my head this year as I sat watching a movie I have seen well over a hundred times, never once prior to having Fiona grasping how hard it can be to be different. 

Its silly, I know, getting so choked up over a kids movie. Us parents of kids with special needs are known to be overly sensitive and all.... well, when your reality is that our child will most definitely face cruelty like that at some point in their life, it hits a bit harder.

Fiona is doing so well. She is truly the tiniest thing walking on two feet. And a good thing because her bum needs to be close to the floor as she loses her balance often. She is a full blown two year old toddler now, atittude and selfishness included. I hear mine more then any other word every day, but yet have to have heard the sweet sound of mama come from her lips. She is a strong-willed little one.

I don't necessarily fear what my daughter may face in our harsh, self centered world. But it undeniably does sadden me to think about it. Every bullying story, every lose joke, every mean teenaged girl who thinks she is all that and looks down on anyone less then par, stings my heart in a close to home way. And I know that people with Down syndrome are just one portion of the many people who deal with that kind of cruelty, and that many with no special need still will be out-casted and belittled by those that put a label on perfection. Its just strangely painful to know in advance how people will treat your child (whose every created difference is merely a part of who they are to you, part of their wonderfulness) by the many cruel things that are said and done to people with an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Its not an if, its a when. My prayer is that its just far and few between and that there is always a Carson around to stick up for her. Of course, she always has her brothers looking out for her :)

photography by Ashley Allbee
Now scroll back up and click on Carson and read about him and his friends. Heroes.


  1. I've always thought of Rudolph in that way. An example of kids and people with special needs. I've always had a soft spot for the island of misfit toys. :)

  2. I never realized how mean they were to Rudolph until recent years. I think it also reflects prevailing attitudes at that time; not that popular attitudes have changed much, but at least most people know what the "right" attitude is. Example: the football team in the story you referenced. What a fantastic story! Thanks for sharing it. I was crying.


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