Our home is usually very healthy. Sometimes a small cold here and there, but nothing overwhelming.
The past few weeks we each have taken turns running fevers and developing head colds. Fortunately, it really isn’t that bad. It’s just a cold, it isn’t projectile vomiting or staying up all night with humidifiers, Vicks and on-call nursing staff. It’s a cold…it’s just the neverending cold. So I’m home from church with some of the girls, making homemade pizzas for lunch and using the free time to sanitize the house.
There is nothing like repetative tasks like scrubbing toilets that gets your mind wandering on weird things.
(perhaps the neverending movie?)
Remember a few days after Frozen came out, all of a sudden everyone was snarky about Elsa’s parents? “They were actually horrible parents because they locked their poor daughter in a room, and she was incapable of living without them! For shame.”
That has always bothered me, but I never understood why. Well, now I have the time to figure it out!
First off, the desecrating of heroes has always bothered me. They are heroes, but they are also human (for the most part..depending on your story). I have a huge problem with how comfortable people are with hating others; it just drives me crazy. I have listened to rants about why Abraham Lincoln was, actually, the “worst President evar.” To which I say, “Wasn’t that over 150 years ago…so who cares??” Mother Theresa was actually some monster in India. Thomas Jefferson was a Theist, Winston Churchill was racist, Gandhi was evil, and Martin Luther was a leprechaun (citation needed).
There are good people in the world. These good people are each individuals fighting their own fight, traveling their own travels, enjoying their own joys. These people see the good in others and look to do good for others.
Okay, so this is totally a 1990s motivational poster kind of feel…but it’s true! Good people will make you feel good. Ben is a good person, and he makes me feel great. My kids are good people, and they make me feel happy. I am a good person, and I look to make them all feel loved and happy. I mean, that is kinda the whole point of this life thing….there were 10 Commandments in the Old Testament. What was Jesus’ New Commandment?
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
(John 13:34-35 ESV)
The new commandment is to love. When we demonize people, including heroes, it isn’t loving. It’s judging. It is saying, “oh sure, they might have done this one good thing, but that doesn’t make them a good person.” One: yes it does. Two: it doesn’t make you a good person tearing them down. So knock it off.
Being loving means we care about each other. We are concerned about each other. We delight in our successes and we are bummed out when things don’t work the way we thought they would.
Even though the parents in Frozen were fictional, the backlash against them was very real. It was real, and it stung, and I finally figured out why it bothered me. Here is why:
They were special needs parents. They didn’t have schools or doctors to help them learn how to support their daughter. No one had ever seen powers like Elsa’s before, and they were doing the best they could with the complete lack of resources they had available. They gave her tips on how to control her emotions. They gave her love and support throughout her childhood. They left the castle in her care when they did leave and assured her that she could do it. They didn’t have a cure for it. They didn’t have a support group to help them. They didn’t have any idea of where it came from or what it meant for their child’s future: and they still kept positive and loving, to the end.
Those are good parents.
Just like every other parent with a special needs child, they struggled on their own. They could see how hard life was going to be for their daughter, and it tore them up inside…but they found solutions and strength for their child. They knew how different Elsa felt, and they made sure to love her unconditionally.
When you see a family with a special needs child, you are seeing 5 minutes of their day. You aren’t spending the countless hours of taking care of their children, the hours/years of research trying to find better ways to help them, the endless nights telling yourself it will be okay. Because you know it will be okay. When you are the parent of a special needs child, no one else on earth loves that child more than you do…and you will fight to the death to do everything possible for them.
The backlash against Elsa’s parents always bothered me because they were parents of a special needs child. If anything, watching Frozen should have made us think, “My goodness, those parents had it rough. They did it all on their own! I wonder if there are any parents of children with special needs around me who I could help.”
We should not be tearing parents down. We should learn from this, and lift each other up.
Being a parent doesn’t mean you find all the answers. I doubt it means you find most of the answers!
But it means you do it together. That is love.