I come to you today having survived SuperStorm Sandy with house, family, and electricity intact, and more importantly in our case, having survived about 48 hours straight watching The Weather Channel. Our marathon of storm viewing included a few moments of special-needs interest, including:
- Mayor Bloomberg's Sign-Language Interpreter. Of all the mayors and governors who press-conferenced in the past few days, the only one I recall having an interpreter was New York City's mayor -- and Lydia Callis, the woman putting his words into ASL, has become something of a celebrity, with a fan tumblr and what looks to be (given the name misspelling) a fake Twitter feed. Whether the notice of her facial expressions is insulting or a good way to appreciate that ASL is more than just talking with your hands is argued out in the comments on articles like the ones on New York Magazine and BoingBoing, but it seems to me that most of the discussion is appreciative and interested in the sight of signing.
- That MassMutual Commercial. It played over and over again through the hurricane coverage, an ad about a mom and her little boy with special needs, the one all the nurses wanted to play with during his 100-plus days in the hospital. While it shows a few trying everyday moments of hair-washing and teeth-brushing, and the voice-over does mention the challenge of a caring for a kid who is totally dependent on you, and there seems to be some suggestion that something bad has happened to the kid's dad by the way the mom looks at his picture, the overwhelming tone is one of love and appreciation for this little guy and this parenting experience, and it's liable to bring a tear to your eye. You can watch the ad here if you haven't already seen it 500 times.
- Those Intrepid Weather Channel Reporters. They made me think, those guys and gals standing out on some rickety pier in the pelting rain and driving wind, that if you have a child who has no cause-and-effect thinking skills, and no appreciation of danger, and a need to create excitement in his world to keep his sensory systems alert, he could, if you raise him right and cultivate an interest in meteorology early, grow up to be the person in the foreground imparting important information to the public, and not the person in the background riding a jet-ski during a hurricane. A hopeful thought.
How have you come through the storm? Share your Sandy experience in the comments.
Photo by Terri Mauro