Thursday, May 7, 2009

Good 'Nuf


Jenny Mc Carthy just signed a “big deal” with Oprah. A radio show, a tv show, her own line of dog food, a perfume, etc. Ok I’m kidding. Sort of.

I struggle with how I feel about all of this. As I’ve mentioned before, I give Jenny Mc all of the props in the world. She’s used her celebrity to bring autism to the forefront of the media. I can honestly say that Jenny is single-handedly responsible for waking up the eyes of millions of people to what is going on with autism. She put her balls out there ~ she took a huge risk in pissing people off with her anti/green-vaccine campaign. (How I feel about vaccines is a whole ‘nother post my friends)

I read Jenny’s first book on the recommendation of so many. I finished and was still hungry. As Simon Cowell so aptly said on AI this week, “it’s like having ice for lunch, you haven’t REALLY eaten anything.” Jenny talked about Evan and his struggles, but more in a “day of the life” type of deal. Kind of like……a blog. I didn’t actually gain anything from the book other than, “OK she’s been through it too.” What I did walk away thinking was that even though she claims to have re-mortgaged her house to pay for Evan’s expensive therapies ~ the bottom line is, she’s Jenny Mc Carthy and that name alone opens up a lot more doors than the name April Schmidt.

I recently read that Jenny built a classroom in her home so that Evan doesn’t have to ever really leave and take the risk of getting sick.

Now that’s realistic!

By the time her second book came out, which I did buy and never finished reading……Jenny seemed to fancy herself the expert on all things autism. The more articles I read of hers and the more interviews I saw the more I disliked Jenny. And here’s why.

Whether or not you are Jenny Mc Carthy or Angelina Jolie or Barack Obama or April Schmidt, you do the best you can. You do the best you can with the resources you have. If those resources only allow you to get your child 4 hours of ABA therapy a week or for that matter 1, you’re doing the best you can. The thing about Jenny is that she gets on her soap box and really gets quite um, “animated” when talking about the issues of vaccines and what not and tends to think her way is not just the best way, but the only way.

Jenny goes on and on about how Evan is “recovered.” And I believe her that he is. She doesn’t by any stretch try to pretend that their journey is over… HOWEVER ~ I can’t help but think that if Luke were able to get 40 hours of therapy per week, a nutritionist, a chef and a live in nanny he’d be fully “recovered” too.

But the REALITY is that I can’t give Luke those things. The Schmidts can’t afford 40 hours of ABA per week. I took on a part time job just so that we could afford 4. I won’t even start on the money we’ve spent on the GF/CF diet and all the supplements that go with it. I can’t built Luke a classroom in our house and so (perish the thought!) Luke goes to a public school where not only has he developed some amazing social and language skills, but he’s picked up (egads!) germs now and again, causing him to get sick (see previous post) and lose precious learning time. Sometimes I even (please don’t call the police) let Luke sit in front of the TV so that I can do crazy things like laundry, cooking, showering, or God forbid, spending time with my other child.

I’m not so sure Luke is really suffering.

My point is, we do the best we can with what we have. Is it good enough? I wonder all day every day if it is. I constantly ask myself if there’s more I can be doing, therapies I can try, more hours to give. And if I were able to, would it make a difference for Luke? Would I be able to call him “cured?”

Doesn’t matter. Because what I’m doing is ALL I can do. I can’t beat myself for not being Jenny Mc Carthy. What I have to offer has to be good enough because it’s all that I have to give.

And really? At the end of the day Jenny Mc Carthy is just a playboy bunny. And someone who used to get paid to make smart ass comments on MTV. And now she gets paid to talk about autism. Good for her. I think. I mean at least someone is talking about it, right? I guess you could say that’s….

Good enough.


Leigh and Andy said...

April- what can I say...I love your blog!! Even though are kids are dealing with different issues (I'm pretty sure that autism and spina biffida are totally different!!) I've been feeling the same exact way. I can only do what I can do. I sometimes panic when I can only do Grey's therapy 4 times a day and wonder if that is going to keep him from walking. This post made me feel like I can do it. I give what I have and that is enough...anyway, just wanted to say THANK YOU and to let you know that you are helping others and doing so much more than you even realize! :)

April said...

Thank you for the kind words, and yes Leigh YOU can do it and so can Greyson. I have the word "believe" plastered all over my house ~ believe in yourself, believe in each other, believe in the best you can for your family, not just for Greyson. ;) It's a package deal!

Michelle said...

Very good April. I am finally catching up on all your blogs and they..are...awesome!!!Oh and btw you are the Jenny Mcarthy of the Nashville area..haaa! Really folks it is almost superhuman what she has been doing especially for Tn's Walk for autism. I am in awe of you but the best part is... what an amazing mother you are and as I am coming to find..friend.

Post a Comment