Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Man who would be President

It seems only fitting in this Presidential election year to talk about Charley’s political views. 

First, and let’s get this over with right now, when Dad was alive he would call Brad and ask whose turn it was to take Charley into the voting booth.

It doesn’t take a political science genius to figure out that Brad and I cancel out each other’s votes. At least, that’s what I want Brad to believe.  

The truth is, Brad never knows whom I vote for because I don’t tell him. It drives him crazy, but since it’s one of the few things I don’t have to tell, I don’t. Besides, if I tell, it won’t be fun anymore.

Dad's theory was that whoever's turn it was to take Charley into the voting booth got to vote twice. But he would be wrong. Neither one of us tell Charley who to vote for. We may help him if he needs it, but that's it.

Most people would assume Charley knows nothing about politics. After all, he has Down syndrome, right?

Well, let’s see about that.

First, Charley knows exactly who the President is. He always has.  When Clinton was in office, he would point at the TV screen and say, “Pesent.”

I would say, “Peasant?”

Charley was very young at the time.

When Bush was in office, Charley would point to the screen and say, “Pesident Buss!”

When Obama took office he’d point to the screen and say, “Daddy, look! Bama!”

Charley has always liked the President, who ever he is. 

Second, he doesn't care if the President is black, white, yellow, green with pink hair, rich, poor, likes or hates broccoli, stands for gay-pride, or has Howdy Doody ears. The President is the President, and it's Charley's job to cheer him on. 

This is and always will be one of Charley's greatest gifts, and a for me, a source of Momma-pride.

One of his favorite movies is The American President. Although, I think it sometimes confuses him. One minute he’s pointing to Michael Douglas and then there’s a commercial with Obama, and then back to Michael again, and he's looking at us like, what the heck?

He doesn’t stay confused for long. Charley has a small black radio and he listens to Rush Limbaugh on the radio every day.  Rush is always fussing about President Obama. So much so, that he fusses at Brad and I if we talk during Rush’s program.

“Mom, Dad, no talkeen, da Pwesident’s on.”

“That’s not the President, Son, that’s Rush Limbaugh.”

“Uh uh, Bama, dat guy said so.”

“No, Son, he’s fussing about Obama.”

“Uh uh, Dad.”

“Yuh huh, Charley.”

And Rush gets cranked up again, yelling “Obama care” into the microphone, and Charley looks at us and says, “See? Dat Bama, dat guy cares,” like, geeze, you guys just don’t get it.

I suppose there’s no way we can convince Charley it’s not Obama.

But what about the boy at the Special Olympics?

Brad and I both went to the park one afternoon to watch Charley compete.

Charley wasn’t exactly happy about this. We weren’t sure why, but if I had to guess, I’d say it’s probably because he was afraid we were there to take him home.

But there was an athlete who was thrilled.

No one else had on a suit and tie, but since Brad had a lunch meeting he was dressed in business attire. He stood at the top of the stairs watching as Charley was on the podium, being presented with his medal. As he started to clap, a wide-eyed athlete climbed the stairs and came face to face with Brad.

“Are you the President?” he asked Brad and stuck out his hand with a big grin. Brad tried to hide it, but I saw the ego boost on his face.

Brad shook his hand and said, “No, sorry, I’m not the President.”

By then Charley was standing beside them. “No silly,” he said to the boy. “Dat my Dad.” 

At least he didn't ask Brad if he was Obama.

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