Speechless

Minnie Driver is probably my favorite actress nowadays. A few years ago she tackled a subject near and dear to my heart by portraying a mother who had a stillborn baby in “Return to Zero“. Her performance was simply phenomenal. She totally nailed it. Her character’s  experience was also fairly close to mine, and there is truly something to be said about watching someone on TV feel what you felt. It’s hypnotizing. I am a very “visual” person anyway, so this movie was truly special for me.

speechless_series_folder_2_by_nallan01-dah0zavFast forward a few years, and now we have Minnie portraying a Special Need Mom in the new TV show called “Speechless”, in which she is a take-charge mom to a teenage son with Cerebral Palsy.

Minnie is now mimicking my life. First as a mother of a stillborn baby, now as a mother of a child with special needs.

I watched the show with Nicky last week and we laughed and laughed. She is me. I am her. She’s got that “nobody is going to walk over my son” attitude that has made Nicky love this new show. Who can forget the day when I walked into the Principal’s office at Nicky’s middle school, demanding to see him, and when his secretary relayed that I was waiting to see him I overheard him say: “She’s here? Oh shit”. I chuckled.

Minnie is precisely this kind of mom. In an interview she stated this which I love: “When you have a kid who is born with special needs, you have to fight twice as hard. Maya is determined that her son will have a life that is as full of joy and fun and opportunity as any typical child. The world isn’t setup for disabled people, by the way. At all. She has to push really hard.”

Maya is British, and is of course over the top, an amplified version of any special need mom. She can be strong, rough and overbearing, but is also very funny, loving, and spot-on with her instincts. As a special need mom, I’ve had experiences where I had to fight like an insane person to protect my child, so I completely understand her. I had to advocate for my son with the school districts, rude teachers, bus drivers and clueless strangers, let alone nurses and Doctors that did not know anything about EB at all but told me everything I was doing wrong. Maya is feisty, and not perfect, but is exactly the kind of mom every special need child needs. She is a tireless advocate for her child. That’s how I like to see myself as well. Whether I am like her or not, or close, it’s not for me to decide, but I do try my best.

At the end of the day, what I like most about this show is that it shows how there are all sorts of families out there. Special need children, who are rarely if ever seen on TV are human, funny, and interesting people too. We need this message out there at this time more than ever.

Love & Light,

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