18 Fictional Characters Moms of Kids With Disabilities Relate To
One of the most powerful things for me, as I parent kids with disabilities, is finding someone else to whom I can say, “You too? Me too!” And because there is humor in life, I’ve found those connections while watching a show or reading a book. I have related to a fictional someone, but that connection is there nonetheless.
Also, I watch a lot of Netflix and Hulu because at the end of the day I want to sit down, relax and watch a show or movie. It is especially nice when one of the characters is relatable.
Like the first time I watched, “Speechless” and Maya DiMeo was the me I’ve always wanted to be or the me I am in a much smaller scale. Or when Molly Weasley attacked Bellatrix Lestrange because nobody, and I mean nobody messes with my kids. Or when my mom snapped a picture of me walking away from the camera, with my three girls following close behind and I though, “I am mother duck.”
And although these connections are not with real people, there is something powerful about seeing someone exemplify a part of your life.
So we reached out to our Mighty parents and asked them, “What fictional character do you relate to as a parent of kids with disabilities?”
These is what they had to say:
1. Mrs. Gump
“In the face of her child being ‘different,’ she established her own normal. As a result Forrest moved forward like everyone else finding his own gifts along the way.” — Carole O.
2. Dory’s parents: Jenny and Charlie
“Trying to guide their child to navigate the world without them had me in tears.” — Karli L.
3. Princess Fiona
“During the day, in front of others, I have the face of someone who has it all and is completely together. At home, in private, I allow my ‘truth’ to come out; I’m worried about the way people truly judge my family and can’t fully understand that despite being different we are full of love. Oh, and I kick some serious butt when push comes to shove!” — Loretta L.
“Hagrid, especially in the book. I try to see the beauty in everything even if to others it looks awful, ugly or horrible. And regardless of the horrible things that happen, I still try to see the good in the world. Even when treated unfairly. Which is what I try to teach my children. He’s judged, ridiculed, unfairly accused of atrocities he did not commit with no proof of him even doing them. I absolutely adore Hagrid. Even in darkness he sees the light and beauty in the world. He also stands up for what’s right, regardless. He still stood against the darkness when he could have easily have become evil himself after how he was treated. And he was fiercely loyal to those he loved.” — Rachael S.
5. The Man in the Yellow Hat
“(The modern PBS version). [I’m] sometimes perplexed by my [child] but always trying to give him new experiences to explore the world and offering as much patience as I can muster when hijinks ensue.” — Sharon L.
“To me, she embodied the working class mom doing her best for her family. Roseanne was hardworking and even through tough times she remained calm, cool and laughing.” — Amanda W.
7. The Invisible Man
“It’s hard to feel unseen. And then there’s guilt for wanting to be seen at all.” — Charlotte K
8. Lucy Pevensie
“From ‘The Chronicles of Narnia.’ I stepped through a door into another world with my own Mr. Tumnus as my guide. It isn’t my world, but it is a beautiful world. Sometimes it is hard, and sometimes it is scary, but my tour guide teaches me along the way. And despite the obstacles, I love it there.” — Lacey C.
9. Carol Connelly
“In ‘As Good As It Gets.’ At one point, I had my child with BP1, my grandmother suffering with physical ailments, and my uncle with a mental illness who wouldn’t go back to the doctor for medication refills (but was one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.) There’s a part in the movie after Carol’s son is finally OK after years of worrying and waiting for the ax to drop at any minute. She tells her mother she’s hollow and doesn’t know what to do with herself without that constant pressure on her chest. That moment right then. When everything is OK and the pressure is off and you don’t have to worry or stress. When I went through that moment, I started having a panic attack. Without all the weight weighing you down, you feel like you are going to float away. I can also relate to her carefree attitude and patience with other people; you just don’t want to burden others with silly gripping. Plus, you just want to enjoy everything seeing how bad things can really be for people, physically or mentally. As far as the scene with Carol and her mother, it felt like it was God talking straight to me telling me not to freak out next time (and there have been next times) to just follow the example and say ‘OK,’ and go out!” — Barbara T.
“I relate to the mom in the Incredibles. She has a family with many different ‘abilities’ that are not understood by the general public. She encourages them to use their skills to take care of each other. She fights when she has to. She is kind and ‘flexible’ when needed.” — Kristine N.
11. Queen Aslaug
“From the show ‘Vikings.’ Her son, Ivar the Boneless was born with deformities that left him unable to walk. She showed him love and care that would not have been given to most children in the Viking era. She never gave up on her son and believed he had the capability of being someone of great importance as he grew older.” — Cassandra P.
“From ‘The Walking Dead.’ She’s experienced tons of personal loss and trauma, but just keeps barreling forward through the good and the bad, while still fighting for the good. The ‘Walking Dead’ keeps me going.” — Kristin L.
13. The Little Engine that Could
“It has more than just one mountain to get over. It is a series of mountains you feel you might not clear followed by a cautious downhill. You aren’t sure if you have truly reached the peak of the mountain crisis. Eventually you get to a nice flat valley. You pray there are no more mountains, ever, but….” — Kathleen P.
14. Miss Peregrine
“Fighting for my child who doesn’t fit into society’s regular shaped box. And championing her along the way to embrace her awesomeness” — Sarah G.
15. Maya DiMeo
“My spirit mom!” — Jen M.
“She advocates tirelessly for her kids, but recognizes she’s not perfect.” — Jen K.
16. Mary Poppins
“Singing and teaching and having the powers to overcome adversity and advocate.” — Sarah M.
“I can never remember anything anymore… all I can do is ‘just keep swimming!!’” — Joanna F.
18. Mrs. Weasley
“I can be very hospitable and loving, but the minute someone steps in our direction that’s not helpful or poses some kind of problem, I immediately jump in ready to engage my ‘autism mom powers.’” — Megan M.
What about you, what fictional character do you relate to? Let us know in the comments.