I am sure most have seen the movie, Finding Nemo
. We saw it when Micah was 2 something years old in the theaters when it came out in 2003. We pre-ordered it on DVD so we could get the 4 walnut framed art prints to decorate his room with. We got wooden blinds of Nemo for the big window in his room (to see what it looks like, Click Here
). He had, well still has, a Nemo bath towel that has a hood with the orange dorsal fin on it and little orange tail hanging off the bottom in the back. When the DVD came, he watched it everyday until he was sick of it.
In 2005, we got the diagnosis of DMD. Since then, we started calling Micah our little "Nemo fish". It had been some time since I seen the movie, but we figured Nemo had his special little right fin, so why not nickname Micah “Nemo” too, he’s our special little fish.
I really never thought too much about the movie, other than the disability of that fin and Micah’s Dx, until I saw the movie again sometime during 2007. As I watched the movie, I noticed things I didn’t notice before. This movie is very similar to our world…the DMD world.
In the beginning, Nemo’s dad, Marlin, really doesn’t want him going to school. He is nervous because his little short finned Nemo won’t be able to keep up with the other sea creatures in his school…or that something will happen to Nemo if he is not there to protect him. Well, he was right, he told Nemo to get back and not touch the boat like his classmates were trying to do. Maybe, if Marlin didn’t show up, Nemo wouldn’t have gone against his father’s wishes to try and prove that he is capable of touching the “butt”. Maybe he would have stopped after going just a little ways out past his classmates, then turned back around and not been captured by the diver. Whatever the case, Nemo was captured and it was up to Marlin to now go away from the reef to where he feared the most in order to find his son…the ocean.
Also, there are a few times in the movie where Marlin says, "You think you can do these things, but you just can't, Nemo!" (this is what REALLY made me put 2 and 2 together) It’s so locked in Marlin’s mind, he says it to Dori in the whale’s mouth when they are hanging onto the whale’s tongue and arguing about whether or not she can speak whale . He catches himself saying this and just decides he needs to let go and take his chances. He and Dori didn’t fall to the whales belly; instead, they were safely blown out the whales blow hole, into the harbor they needed to get to in order to find Nemo.
Later, after finally finding Nemo, a fishing net scoops up a school of fish, including Dori. Nemo knows what to do (from his experience in the fish tank with Gil) and tells all the fish to swim down. Marlin is nervous, but instead of stopping Nemo, he helps his son tell all the fish in the net what to do, “Swim down”. Eventually, the fish snap the net off the boat and they are all free. But, Nemo is lying lifeless on the ocean floor. Of course, Marlin is in panic mode since his little short finned Nemo looks dead. Nemo lives and from that point forward, Marlin let’s Nemo do his thing without worrying.
From Marlin being nervous about his son going to school (sound familiar?), to trying to stop Nemo from touching the "butt" (playing sports), to telling Nemo he can't do things (ever say or have similar thoughts?), and Marlin being scared about the entire ocean (Duchenne), this movie reminds me all to well of my life...maybe yours too.
It took some time, but like Marlin, I am facing the “ocean” head on.
Going into 1st grade last year was tough, but he made it.
Micah can do things that I thought he couldn’t do…and, boy oh boy, he lets me know it too when I try to help.
I have learned, and continue to learn, to trust that my little “Nemo fish” will be fine with whatever he wants to do.
If you haven’t seen Finding Nemo
in a long time, or have, watch it again from the eyes of a parent in the DMD world. You may find yourself being like Marlin in more ways than one and your child being your little “Nemo fish” too.
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.