I suspect this is a universal feeling for a lot of new parents, but when Mrs. Pajiba-hyphenate was pregnant, what we feared most was not Down’s, birth defects, or even mental retardation. It was autism (we were fortunate that it was none of the above). It seemed, in our minds, that we could deal with anything else. That we’d find a way to cope. But autism — I’d like to think that we’d be strong enough to deal with it, but I dunno. It turns child-raising from one full time job to two, and it felt like — perhaps — there’d be no reward, at least in our idea of autism: An emotionally detached child uncomfortable with and/or incapable of showing affection. That’s the worst fear: That we could smother our child with affection, but get nothing in return. It seems like everything else could be manageable — 11 toes, diabetes, MS, Down’s syndrome — because at least, at the end of the day, your kid will hug you.
Which brings me to this: The trailer for the documentary Horseboy, which is an awful title, but the trailer — especially if you’re a parent — may just knock you over. It’s about parents who discover that their child is autistic — he won’t even speak to them — but then find that their son, Rowen, finds some healing powers from being with … horses. It sounds like a ridiculous idea, but parents — they’ll do fucking anything for their kids. (Or, more selfishly, for a decent night of sleep). And these damn horses — well, they seem to have some sort of transformative power over their son.
It risks being very sentimental, but it seems like the sort of sentiment that’s earned — earned through years of caring for the child, years of sleepless nights, of frustration, and of sadness. I mean: It’s fucking real.
It looks like a remarkable film, and the trailer just might hit you in the sternum.