It isn’t often that an animated cartoon moves me to tears, but the first time I watched the trailer for Disney’s new vinylmation film I was left a blubbering mess. Yes, motherhood turns you into an emotional basket case. Seriously though, the very beginning of the movie hit me hard. You may think watching an animated mouse trying to paint himself over and over again isn’t very tearworthy, but all the mamas out there know what I’m talking about. The yearning we have for our children to be happy with themselves. To embrace who they are and radiate self love. To be confident in what makes them who they are and to know that everyone is different in their own way, and that it is okay. The movie is about an “outcast” character going on a journey to find his lost soulmate, but it touches on so much more than just a love story.
To say I’m a worried mom is a huge understatement. Worries fly through my head every second of the day. Will my kids be safe? Will they be accepted? Will they make friends? Will they be pushed around or bullied? Will they be happy? Will they know they are loved? And that is only in the first hour of the day. I am a typical mom, and my kids are typical kids, but I am also the mom of an amazing special needs kid. Yes, some would say he’s different. An outsider. A weirdo even. But guess what? He is not really that different. Because no matter who he is or what he was born as, he will still have to carve out his path in life and face the same world as everyone else.
His challenges in life might present themselves a little differently than his peers, but everyone has their own struggles to deal with. He will meet people that he instantly clicks with, and others not so much. He will grow, he will love, he will laugh, he will hurt, he will be lonely and he will be everything that everyone else is no matter what label he carries. Autism is not who he is, it just happens to be a part of him. It doesn’t make him any less than anyone else. I guess what I’m really trying to say is, labels are just labels, and different isn’t bad.
Yes, my kid is weird. He is quirky, obsessive, and has trouble relating to others. He hates being dirty, and it is virtually impossible to go to a store without him insisting on arranging everything on the shelves. But you know what? Those things also make him amazing. When I look at him I see a beautiful, strong, brilliant little boy who will grow into an equally amazing man. Sure, he would rather collect and wash rocks over playing with toy cars, but that means he is finding beauty in the world around him. I want him to know that his differences are not weaknesses. They are strengths. They are what makes him so brilliantly colored that the world pales around him. The world is his blank canvas and I can’t wait to see what he does with it!
If you have a spare 45 minutes, check out Blank for free exclusively on Google Play, the kids will love it and it just might find a special place in your heart!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.