The Black Balloon…

I’ve just finished watching this movie. It’s about a family who have just moved to a new area, and how their younger son Thomas handles coming to terms with living with his autistic brother, Charlie.

I’m not normally one to blog about movies, but… damn this was so well done.

Obviously it’s easy to recognise Charlie straight away. He doesn’t speak, and has many of the quirks of someone with autism. The actor who played him should be proud of himself. He delivered a really accurate and loveable performance.

I can’t lie.

I silently pray most days that Max won’t turn out like this. It’s such a hard life to lead.

But, it’s the life I’ve been given.

Time will tell.

Whether Max will talk properly or not, I’ll just have to wait and see. (Though it does seem that he’s making progress, so I’m hopeful!)

I was smiling huge big cheesy grins through many moments though, seeing bits of Max’s behaviour in Charlie, I couldn’t help but say “well done!” when he did something good, or talk at the screen to the younger brother Thomas, when he was battling with wishing his big brother was just “normal”. Not to mention seeing the stick the majority of people gave them whenever they saw this almost-grown up child. Those bits had me really pissed off.

I worry that Zack will resent his little brother as they grow up.

That Max won’t understand boundaries when, for example, Zack may want some time just with his own friends.

I worry that Max will get bullied because he is “different”, or that Zack will because he has a little brother who isn’t “normal”.

But I have high hopes for them both.

Max is making huge progress, and Zack is such a sweet, sensitive and caring little man.

He will struggle at times, I’m sure, but he’ll come through it. We all will.

Much like the mum in this movie, I believe that I was given Max for a reason.

Because I have the strength to get through this. Not just to “get through it”, but to give Max the best possible life he can.

Because Zack is so laid back.

Because we are his family, and he was given to us.

A quote from the film, “All I know is he’s my own, and you’re weak if you don’t look after your own.”

So true.

We do our best by our children, regardless of whether they’re you’re typical kid, a tearaway, or autistic.

We do it because we love them, and they are ours.

We brought them into this world.

But they shape us more than we ever thought they could.

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19 Comments

  1. January 28, 2011 / 12:19 am

    i was bullied because i was different (still am) & because i had learning difficulties but they weren’t realised until recently (cause of an ou course i was studying at the time). the teachers at school called me stupid & lazy when i was trying so hard!

    & don’t worry about your boys, they’ll be fine & zack will be a great older brother, annoying, teasing, caring, hugging all that stuff that older brothers are!

  2. January 28, 2011 / 12:38 am

    That’s so true, I agree you were given your children for a reason. You get the most important job of loving him unconditionally for his entire life. It will be hard but I have faith that you can all do it!

  3. January 28, 2011 / 3:09 am

    They really do shape us in ways we’d never dreamed of xx

    I watched this film 2 weeks ago and was glued to the screen the whole way through, I thought it was brilliantly done! Even though J can speak, his meltdowns are pretty severe and the scene at the supermarket checkout when they had to put the specials back really freaked me out and I just sat and thought wow, is this what I can expect because that’s exactly what he’s like now! It was a real eye opener of a film for me, I think it sparked something inside me, a more determined side, determined to improve things a little now before they get that bad, more determined to find new ways of dealing with outbursts and his sensory issues.

    You are given your kids for a reason and we do it because we love them, unconditionally. xx

  4. January 28, 2011 / 7:34 am

    It’s on my lovefilm list now.

    I think Max and Zack were pretty lucky to have been given you for a mum. You are strong and they will both benefit enormously from that.

  5. January 28, 2011 / 7:57 am

    Marilyn,
    Zack WON’T grow up to resent Max because you’re doing a brilliant job of raising him.
    He will be proud of his little brother and your amazing parenting will shine through in both of your boys.
    I just know it ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. January 28, 2011 / 8:14 am

    Sounds like a great film that made you reflect so much on your life.

  7. Charlene
    January 28, 2011 / 1:19 pm

    Magnificent
    Very well written. I am going to have to see this film. Thank you so much for sharing

  8. January 28, 2011 / 2:17 pm

    So do I, finally! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. January 28, 2011 / 2:20 pm

    That’s why I’m gonna make damn sure I can do everything I can for Max to live happily. Regardless of whether it’s considered “normal” or not. x

  10. January 28, 2011 / 2:21 pm

    *blushes* thank you sweety! xx

  11. January 28, 2011 / 2:22 pm

    I hope so! All I can do is make sure I give them the best of me. ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  12. January 28, 2011 / 2:24 pm

    Indeed it has. First time that’s happened in a while! x

  13. January 28, 2011 / 2:29 pm

    I guarantee you will cry and laugh in equal measures. ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  14. January 28, 2011 / 8:06 pm

    Nicely written. I will certainly have to check out that movie.

  15. January 28, 2011 / 8:19 pm

    It is definitely one worth watching! x

  16. January 29, 2011 / 10:16 pm

    I think I’m going to have to watch the film now. xxx

  17. January 29, 2011 / 11:02 pm

    Indeed! It is a Must Watch. xx

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