A multiple sclerosis statement
There’s a new hero in my MS world.
He gets me.
And he gets away with saying things I want to say.
I learned a long time ago that heroes don’t always come with a cape. And sometimes they may even be con artists.
Life is too short and so if you find a hero, treasure him.
Speaking of short, my new hero is very short. His name is Mateo and he is three years old. He’s the “‘Linda listen’ cupcake kid.”
If you don’t know what I’m talking about and have access to YouTube do yourself a favor and do a YouTube search with the words “Linda, listen.” You will find an awesome video of Mateo pleading his innocence to a judge, his mom.
The Crime- Mateo is accused of conning his grandmother into letting him have cupcakes specifically after his mother told him he was not allowed to have cupcakes.
The Defense-Mateo is pleading not guilty as since the alleged crime took place in his grandmother’s house, his mother’s law does not have jurisdiction.
The Sentence- If convicted, Mateo will face a pow pow on his butt.
Some of you are probably parents who will insist that children should not argue with their parents or that a pow pow on the butt is not a proper punishment. I’m not a parent so I’m not going to weigh in on those issues. I will point out however, that when one of my nephews misbehaves a “simple time” out usually works pretty well.
Oh who am I kidding? My nephews are perfect. They never misbehave.
These issues aside, Mateo is probably one of the best lawyers I have ever met and I used to work with a ton of them. Really, Harvard should give him a teaching job.
And while I have on several occasions been guilty of eating cupcakes I knew I wasn’t supposed to, that is not why Mateo is my hero. He is my hero because he says outright, loud and clear, over and over, “LISTEN TO ME!”
Haven’t you ever wanted to say that to those around you? For me, it’s happening more and more, the longer I live with MS in my life. And I’m not talking about the naysayers in the world, those that judge you and it doesn’t really matter if they listen to you or not: their ears will never hear you no matter what you say.
No, I’m talking about the people closest to us, those who really want to help.
And I love them- I truly and deeply do. Mateo clearly loves his mother. You can tell as even though he is calling her ‘Linda,” he also calls her “honey.” I believe he does this so she knows his frustration has no bearing on how much he loves her.
But despite that love, he wants, no he needs, to be heard!
Likely you know what I am talking about.
From an MS standpoint, one example may look something like this; someone asks you how you are feeling and you tell them. And then they ask why you feel that way. When you can’t tell them why they come up with non-MS reasons likely, to try to make you feel better about having MS.
But it doesn’t help to hear, “you do too much, you don’t do enough, you sleep too much, you don’t sleep enough, you need to rest more, you need to get out more, you need to fight more, you need to give in some…..”
It doesn’t help because we already know all this!!!! We are constantly, daily, hourly, minutely (I don’t care if that’s not a real word- it should be,) trying to balance all this out ourselves. And we have told you this a million times before.
“Linda, honey, listen to me!”
Then there are the times you describe your symptoms and someone replies, “oh, don’t feel bad. I do that all the time. If that’s MS then I’ve got it too, haha.” Not that helpful. Especially since what you just described is nothing like what I’ve described and I’ve described doing it constantly-daily, hourly, minutely (I really like this word.)
Then there’s “please let me know what I can do to help” and you think “awesome, great, fabulous.” And when you say what would be helpful, say for example, A. B, C, or D, you likely get B squared or E, F, and G in return, And it’s really a bummer if G requires you to do H, I , J and K just to make G work out for you.
Again, I and all the MS folks I know are super duper grateful for offers to help. We just honestly appreciate help that looks like A, B, C and D. As Mateo says, “you’re not listening to me!!”
Finally there’s us wanting to help someone else. Our life has changed drastically with MS and while the changes may not be what we hoped, we still have lots and lots to offer. So please, please, please believe us when we say “I can help by doing A, B, or C. Will that help? If so, I would be happy to do it.”
But too often the person who needs the help responds “oh no, A, B, and C are way too much for you. I will ask someone else to do that. If you could just do D, that would be great. D will be much easier on you.” Despite after you have already explained why D would actually be too much for you.
At no time do I ever want to seem ungrateful. That is why Mateo is my hero. He makes his case in his adorable way and his mom hears him and is not offended.
It probably helps that Mateo is super cute, though technically that should not be relevant. I just can’t help myself from admiring Mateo’s outright plea. Knowing that I would never be seen as cute if I was to boldly state “Listen to me,” I can feel better channeling my inner Mateo when necessary.
But this isn’t the only reason why Mateo is my hero. He’s also my hero because his argument got him on Ellen!
I’ve been trying to get on Ellen for years now and Mateo raised an argument and got on Ellen.
Just like that!
All he had to do was smile and give her a hug. I could do that. I may not be as cute as Mateo but I could flash a big smile and give Ellen a hug.
And if all that weren’t enough, Ellen gave Mateo his own private super hero tower of cupcakes!
And so, I’ll say it again.
“Listen, listen Mateo, honey, you’re my hero!”
Happy Mother’s Day to my own Mom and to all the Moms out there…..
I’m not sure where the original video of Mateo came from but when I searched for it I found it on YouTube on- thebigtinonetwork
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