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 response...how 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 time...how 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.