posted Wednesday July 20th, 2016
My name is Robyn Rosenberger and I’m the founder of Tiny Superheros – a superhero cape company with a big mission to empower Extraordinary kids as they overcome illness or disability! (The attached 2 min video captures our mission!)
I came across your blog awhile ago, and I just love it! We have dozens of TinySuperheroes on our Squad who are using Down Syndrome as their super power and we would love to have Super Sophie on our TinySuperheroes Squad! If you think she’d like to join our Squad, I’d be honored to send her very own, official TinySuperheroes cape!
After you receive her cape, if you think our mission is something that aligns with you, we’d love for you to consider sharing your TinySuperheroes experience on your blog. Your influence would go a long way in helping us in our mission to empower a generation of children to choose kindness! We would also love for your readers to know about our TinySuperheroes Squad, so that their Extraordinary kids can join, too!
We are also excited to to cross promote your blog to our 33,000+ social media followers as a Thank You for your support as well! Today we published a blog post about 8 of our favorite blogs written by moms of TinySuperheroes! Yours in on it, of course! http://tinysuperheroes.com/blog/some-favorite-blogs
I look forward to hearing back from you! And if we can send Super Sophie a cape, let me know her favorite colors and the best address to send it to!
My first response, I will admit, was “Ick.” I wondered, is this inspiration porn — or just a well-meaning gesture? I’m beginning to think the line there is a lot finer than I originally surmised.
Am I too judgey? Not judgey enough?
I thought about it for a few days. (Okay, not exclusively, but you know what I mean.) I showed the email to a couple friends. They were not impressed. At 13, Sophie likes high heels, hoop earrings and boys, one friend reminded me. Isn’t this infantilizing her? What if she had a disability she was not able to overcome — would that mean she’s not super?
I watched the video (sponsored by American Express) and Robyn Rosenberger looks like a really nice, well-meaning person. I itched to want to like what she’s doing. But I couldn’t make up my mind.
So I decided to do what I should have done in the first place: One night after dinner, I asked Sophie.
“Hey Sophie, there’s this woman who wrote to me and she says you are a superhero because you have Down syndrome and she wants to send you a cape. Do you want it?”
“YES.” The answer came without hesitation.
“Even though it’s about Down syndrome and you don’t always like to talk about that?”
Huh. Well, okay. I didn’t have a chance to write to Rosenberger the next day and that night, I decided to ask Sophie again, just for the heck of it. This time, her older sister Annabelle was there. I gave her the back story.
“Hey Sophie, you want that cape we were talking about last night?”
“Really? Last night you wanted it.”
She shook her head.
“Is there something you’d want instead?”
“How about a tiara?” Annabelle asked. She was getting into it.
“Annabelle, no!” Sophie replied.
Annabelle pressed the issue. Why didn’t Sophie want a cape?
“I don’t want it because I won’t use it,” Sophie said. “I’ll use mechanical pencils at school.”
(Also she likes to eat the erasers, but I decided to stay quiet.)
And so it was decided. No cape for Sophie.
But still I wonder: Inspiration porn, or well-meaning gesture? Or both? Can’t it be both?
Amy’s book, “My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome,” was published by Woodbine House this spring and is available through Amazon and Changing Hands Bookstore. For information about tour dates and other events visit myheartcantevenbelieveit.com and here’s a book trailer.