Chris Pratt is once again the target of ire after he posted a birthday tribute to his wife Katherine Schwarzenegger and included thanks to her for bringing him a “healthy daughter.” The anger arises from the fact that his son Jack, who is now 9, with ex-wife Anna Faris had a cerebral hemorrhage at birth and has suffered numerous health complications as a result.
The Instagram tribute, which he posted six weeks before his wife’s actual birthday and I’ll admit is a little strange in terms of timing, features his wife looking longingly at him and includes the following:
“She’s given me an amazing life, a gorgeous healthy daughter, she chews so loudly that sometimes i put in my ear buds to drown it out, but that’s love! She helps me with everything.”
Those who take offense to Pratt’s comments find it cringeworthy that he would praise his daughter’s health when his son has faced challenges and that he seemingly is knocking his ex for being unable to give him a healthy child. Some commenters even wonder if he forgot about his son.
Listen. I have three children, two of whom fit society’s definition of “typical” and one of whom suffered a stroke in utero, resulting in Cerebral Palsy, hemiplegia, and a variety of speech, language, and learning differences. And I am thankful for all three.
My son who has disabilities is my second child, and when I found out I was pregnant with my third, I was a mess. An absolute wreck. My pregnancy with my second son was a nightmare, the delivery was traumatic, and his near-death experience, followed by his numerous health complications, made up one of the darkest periods of my life.
Constantly worrying that your child won’t make it, praying that they are granted ease and peace with their struggles, hoping that they are not experiencing pain or discomfort, wishing you could trade places with them, replaying the “what-ifs” in your mind on a loop, and busting ass every day for YEARS to give your child the best chance at life is EXHAUSTING and TRAUMATIZING.
So the prospect of going through all that again and bringing another child into this world to potentially navigate health difficulties almost broke me. I worried for my unborn child endlessly and made every silent deal possible with whatever higher powers exist to allow him safe passage into this world and a life of limited poking, prodding, pain, and discomfort.
Despite a health scare at my 20-week ultrasound, the pregnancy proceeded as “normal,” and I gave birth to a healthy baby boy, albeit 3 weeks early. AND HELL YES I WAS THANKFUL.
There is nothing wrong with being thankful for a healthy child. Nothing. Especially when you’re also thankful for a child who does grapple with health complications.
It’s not like Chris Pratt has been neglecting or abusing his son Jack. He has been present and involved from the start, saying of his son:
“I made promises in that moment about what kind of dad I wanted to be and I just prayed that he’d live long enough that I could keep them.”
“Our Jack went from a small, helpless little squirt to a strong, smart, happy, funny, beautiful boy who loves monster trucks and ‘Daniel Tiger,’ and, believe it or not, loves vegetables. Broccoli and cherry tomatoes are his favorite foods.”
That sounds like a father who loves his son to me. So for anyone to knock Pratt for expressing love and gratitude for his wife and daughter as well is just silly.
I know we’re all going through some stuff right now, and the internet is a wild ride at the moment. But people, please. Let the man post an oddly early birthday tribute to his wife without dissecting it and reading between the lines as though this is a 400-level university lit crit class.
He’s not a wordsmith, but maybe, right here on Earth and not in some alternate universe, it’s possible he just wanted to do something nice for his wife.
There are plenty of things to be upset with Chris Pratt about. This ain’t one of ’em.
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