I recently had the pleasure of watching a captivating and thought-provoking movie called, Mr Blue Sky (http://mrblueskymovie.com/). While the movie was about a lot of things… For me, it was mostly about unconditional love and the right, and sometimes fight, to love who you love. Let me clarify…
Mr. Blue Sky is a movie about 3 inseparable friends/”soul-mates” who grow up together, a young boy and two little girls — one of whom happens to have Down syndrome. The movie progresses through their young adulthood and addresses the typical aches and pains of dating and, finally, finding and choosing who you love. Of course, it’s not that simple. The societal barriers surrounding people with Down syndrome throw in complications that the characters eventually overcome. It’s an uplifting story and incredibly thought-provoking for me because I have two sons with Down syndrome.
It’s about an achievable dream in the way Martin Luther King, Jr. meant the words, “I have a dream!” It is NOT, in my opinion, a fantasy though, unfortunately, someone from the Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles seemed to think so, “Mr. Blue Sky may be a story of fantasy today, but some of us would like to believe it could be a story of life experience in the future.” It is, and has to be, about what’s possible TODAY!
Without totally giving away the plot, the concept of mixed marriages is not new. In an era when it was totally unacceptable, my maternal grandparents wed despite their religious differences, my grandmother catholic and my grandfather protestant. Two of my sisters have “mixed marriages” as my family was raised catholic but their husbands were raised Jewish. I have an old friend who is Caucasian but her husband is African American. My mother is “able-bodied” but her husband is “disabled” with Cerebral Palsy. A family friend’s son, who happens NOT to have Down syndrome, is dating a girl who happens to have Down syndrome. These are all examples of REAL people from different backgrounds, different abilities, different ethnic groups choosing to love who they love… despite the societal barriers.
Every parent wonders if their child will find someone to love that will love them back. Those of us with children with special needs wonder the same and more. We worry whether our children will be “allowed” to choose to love who they love. And, whether the person they love will love them back. Will society frown upon a “mixed’ union of a person with Down syndrome and ANYONE else? I know I love my children unconditionally and beyond words. I don’t love them because they have a high IQ or they’re star athletes or they’re medical doctors (I don’t know if they will achieve any of these “status symbols” and I don’t care…) I love them because they’re beautiful people. And, I wonder if someone else will be able to look beyond their disability and see the amazing, kind and successful individuals they are fast becoming.
Back in my hay-day, I dated men from different walks of life, in different age groups, with varying levels of intelligence, from many ethnic backgrounds with varying religious affiliations, some had physical disabilities and others had mental “issues”. Looking back… Truly a melting pot! When I was choosing my spouse, I fought with the notion that he was 8 years younger than me. For instance, when I was 25, like the characters in the movie, he was 17. I promise you, I would never have dated a 17-year-old boy when I was 25. So, it’s a good thing I waited until I was older… much older… before I agreed to a date him. LOL. But, he was kind; gentle; funny; accepting; open-minded; and, he believed in and liked to do the same things I believed in and liked to do. And, yes, he was smart. But, it wasn’t the smart that “sold” me. It was the kind, gentle, funny, open-, and like-minded that I knew I could live with forever.
Mr. Blue Sky made me contemplate how I made my choice and really think about the hypothetical possibilities for me and the real-life possibilities for my children. Were I presented with a man with all those qualities I found in my husband, who happened also to have Down syndrome, could I have fallen in love with him? I don’t know. Given that my grandparents, mother, sisters and friends paved the way by choosing to love who they love. And, given that my boys happen to have Down syndrome, I hope that I could find a way to let such love in. To let love conquer all. God knows my boys are the most loving human beings I’ve ever encountered. They surely could, and hopefully will, (if they choose to) make two special ladies very happy someday…. If we are all free to choose who we love.
For a great, more in-depth synopsis, see the movie review at: