I am so in love with this short documentary created by Kelly O’Brien who is a mother of three and lives in Toronto. She created the movie Softening over the span of five years to illustrate the experience of raising a child with severe physical and developmental disabilities. Teddy was born a viral infection he contracted in utero that caused extensive brain damage and the following short film introduces us to Emma and the love she has for her little brother.
From The New York Times:
As both mother and filmmaker, I felt it was important to find ways to represent Teddy not simply as a tragedy or a constellation of delays and disabilities, but as the sweet, happy and complicated kid that he is.
I love how the movie perfectly depicts the point of view of an older sibling who doesn’t see her brother as someone who is disabled or who has physical limitations, but just as someone she loves a lot who enjoys ice cream and rain on his face and laughing at her jokes.
I’m sure with all siblings there’s a lot that this short movie doesn’t show us, the squabbling, the tantrums, the very trying aspects of parenting that all of us go through, but for me it’s just a lovely snapshot of the unconditional love a sister has for her brother. I know as kids grow that love can change and develop and probably won’t be as dear and unconditional as it is shown in this movie, but I think it makes us all pause and see the world through this little girl’s view, how she doesn’t focus on the difficult aspects, just the joy and love of being someone’s favorite person in the world.
(Image: My brother, teddy)