Friday, June 25, 2010

Steel Magnolias

I'm watching this movie, which I love and hadn't watched in...well, years. It's still near the beginning, just after when Shelby (Julia Roberst) starts to have insulin shock at the beauty parlor. While I have always cried at various parts in this movie, this is the first tiem I was moved to tears by this scene, specifically by Sally Fields' character, Shelby's mother, M'Lynn. (I'm not sure if I spelled the name right, but anyway.)


When people talk about this movie, I've never heard them talk about Shelby as having grown up as a special needs child, with the obviously serious Type I diabetes. Her diabetes is so serious, the doctor has told her that pregnancy would endanger her health, a fact that is later proven to be true, when Shelby's kidneys fail after she has her son.

M'Lynn, as shown in this scene, obviously has spent Shelby's life being the pointman when it comes to her daughter's health. When Dolly Parton's character first realizes that Shelby is having a problem, she immediately calls for M'Lynn, who comes over to Shelby and begins to talk her through the episode, while their friends get orange juice and candy. In this dialogue between the two, you can see the long history they have- Shelby with her health issues, and fighting so desparately to be normal, and M'Lynn leading the charge in that fight.

It's very interesting- most people who look at Frank would never realize he's a special needs child, and, indeed, as compared to a lot of kids with SPD, he's really quite well off. The movie has made me think- how many kids do we see every day while out and about look "normal", but really have special needs?

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