Monday, September 28, 2009

A Bolt from The Blue

This morning I watched an interview by Gay Byrne (who I have to admit I had never been a big fan of) of Colin Farrell (who I had dismissed as just another gorgeous party boy who happened to be a great actor ).
Watch it here, if you get a chance.
How wrong my perception was.
Colin Farrell comes across as intelligent, thoughtful and deeply loving of his son, who has Angelman's Syndrome, while Gay Byrne asked insightful questions and actually allowed Mr F time to give a considered many interviewers do that???
Mr F pondered the nature of disability and wondered if it us "normal" people who are the disabled ones, weighted down as we are with egoism, hedonism and negativity. His son, he says, lives in the present and gives and receives love as freely as air. OK, straw poll many of us say that about our "special" kids? I know I can.

Yeah, Bob has little speech, throws tantrums when we don't understand what channel "baby rabbit" is on (anybody??? We speculate it may be Max and Ruby, so have sky plussed an experimental episode), and bites his fingers when he's frustrated...but he's so free with his affection and so unconcerned with ego that it's breath-taking, and a little humiliating.

Bob's school invited us to the school mass last Friday (our SECOND mass in 3 days...maybe there is a beardy god somewhere in the ether chuckling away to himself ), so we tried hard to remember when to kneel, stand and do the whole hokey kokey.
At the start of the ceremony, Bob and his 4 classmates each walked up to the priest with a gift by themselves (with a discreet reinforcer given to each of them when they got there) and then sat by their teachers .
OK, so maybe Bob had to be gently re-directed  from the emergency exits a few times, but the fact is that he did it, with the aid of his fabulous teachers.

Another lovely thing I noticed during the mass, was the acceptance by the rest of the school kids that sometimes the boys made funny noises, or cried or chewed on chewey tubes, but that it was really no big deal.
Not just tolerance, but actual acceptance. How cool is that?

for your viewing pleasure

We could be cynical and say that Colin Farrell can afford to be philosophical, but I really think we could all learn something from his attitude. It doesn't cost a penny to see our fabulous, "neurally-other" kids as the pretty damn amazing people they are.
Imagine I had to go to mass to see it in action??
Maybe God does have an ironic sense of humour afterall, but if I'm struck down by a bolt of lightening in the next day or two, you'll know what happened to me.


  1. I saw that interview Jean the first time around and felt the same as you. Colin is indeed an intelligent and articulate man and clearly loves, and accepts his gorgeous son. ( I'm now thinking again of how sad it is that Scientology robbed John Travolta of his acceptance).

    As for the gorgeous Bob....WOOHOO, well done you!! I bet that made goin to mass 3 times soooo worth it!

    Step by step .... he's getting there. WiiBoy was Page Boy at my Brother's Wedding age 6. He was brilliant. Who cares that I had to crouch down at an aisle seat and give him thumbs up as he made his way down the aisle OR a shake "no" of the head when he pulled faces! So, go Bob!!

    Lovely post and so well written Jean. xx Jazzy

  2. I saw this interview today for the first time and was blown away by how articulate Mr. F was. I wasn't aware that his son had Angelmans Syndrome at all. I absolutely loved his discription of his son as "a really cool human being, nothing but light, no darkness at all, who draws love and gives it with abundance". So nice to see a celebrity who accepts their child for who they are and are not trying to "cure" them (ye... you know who I mean hehe).

    A huge well done to Bob for presenting his gift at mass. It was a proud moment for you I'm sure :)


  3. They certainly are amazing people!

  4. now that - would give me religion! xx

  5. Bob is the lovliest person I know. I usually see people with a mental filter (autistic, dyslexic etc)but with Bob, he's just Bob. Open, funny, excited, affectionate, joyful.
    I would be wary however of so much mass, it leads to blistering of the skin.
    No clue about the bunnies.

  6. thank you so much girlies for all your lovely comments
    no serious side effects from our recent religious overload (apart from re-reading richard dawkins books for reassurance), and still no closer to discovering the identity of "baby rabbit"

  7. Wow, that is a fabulous comment from the gorgeous Colin Farrell and it equally applies to Smiley as well :) On the Mass, so delighted for Bob, and I saw something similar at aspie boy's new school which takes a large number of kids with a variety of special needs and no-one batted an eye-lid at some odd behaviours during a recent award ceremony..and yes my boy got one since you're asking :D

  8. That is amazing! I can't believe I'm saying this, but maybe I can learn something from Collin Farrel!

  9. I had no idea about Colin Farrel. Thanks for the link. I have often wondered about what really "normal" entails. And yay for Bob doing so well at Church!