Sunday, January 03, 2010

Desperate Housewives--Usually Enjoyable, Occasionally Inspirational

The television tides have turned. Years ago in our more struggling days, my dear wife and I would enjoy a few days at her parents house because they had a slew of cable television so that we could meet the visual equivalent of Cheetos to the human diet. Feels good going down, but contributes little if anything to my overall health. These days, we have cable in our household, and my in-laws have removed many choice in worship attendance at the cathode cathedral. Because of Chuck Klosterman, I have lowered some of my disdain for television and recognize that I don't need to be a culture snob about it--and recognize it for its contribution. I can remember all the while that moderation is more important for my television diet and recognize its artistic value rather than attempting to set myself above culture for my own gratification. I come to my in-laws during this Christmas decompression time and know I don't have to watch television for it's own sake.

I don't watch Desperate Housewives because it's a great show. I watch it because it is the only show that suits my dear wife and I after a long Sunday at work. We enjoy the characters (even if they are caricatures) and the twists, though the stories on the whole seem weak.

Tonight's episode presented a storyline for which I was surprised (in a good way) and not by a sharp plot twist. Lynette is faced with the possibility of one of her unborn children living with a disability. Whereas the other dreams highlighted in the episode often reinforce the caricatures in the show, Lynette's character is given more complex situations. How do you raise a child with a disability to raise their lives to the best situation possible? I wonder that almost every day with my child and her autism spectrum disorder. We will have to work hard for the rest of our lives to provide opportunities for daughter #1 to thrive. Some days we miserably fail. Other days, we merely wonder. Other days we peer into the future to see what is possible. Daughter #1 is amazingly artistic--she wrote and drew some books for her sister and grandparents. She invented a board game and played with her mother and grandparents. I continue to dream that she will bring great joy to others and herself with her artistic pursuits. I don't ever expect Desperate Housewives to inspire this kind of pondering, but I'm happy when it does. I look forward to getting back home to the Pacific Northwest and talk with my wife about what we saw on tonight's episode.

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