Special needs caregivers know that humor is an effective weapon in combatting stress. When I need to laugh, I watch Parks and Recreation on Netflix. After one particularly belly laugh-filled episode, I created a quiz to make the special needs caregivers who read this blog giggle. In Part 1 of this short series, I described 5 favorite characters from the show. This post describes 5 more and provides instructions about how complete the quiz.
#6: April Ludgate
In the first season, April Ludgate is a young, unmotivated, sarcastic intern in the parks department. In the second season, she falls in love with Andy Dwyer (see #7), and they eventually marry. Her love for her husband transforms her into a woman of purpose. By the series finale, she’s still on the sarcastic side but she is fiercely protective and grateful for those she loves. She reminds me of caregivers who mature into their purpose in life, which is to care for others and advocate for their best good.
#7: Andy Dwyer
Andy is a goofy, aimless moocher who dreams of rock band success when Parks and Recreation begins. His goofy, childlike perspective is consistent throughout the show’s run. He also discovers that his childlike joy allows him to connect with children. Combined with his musical talent, Andy becomes a successful children’s television show host. He resembles special needs caregivers who see life through a child’s eyes and enter into the wonder of childhood with them, filling their lives with joy and inaccurate reporting.
#8: Ron Swanson
Ron Swanson is the head of the parks and recreation department, a man’s man of few words, and fewer emotions. He’s a government employee who hates government, loves red meat, and woodworking. Ron prefers isolation to relationships and hides his alter ego as a jazz saxophonist from co-workers and friends. If he were a caregiver, he would shut himself and his loved one away to the detriment of both. Why? Because his need to project the image of self-sufficiency won’t allow him to admit his need for help.
#9: Ben Wyatt
Ben is a nerd’s nerd. He’s an accountant, grooves on spreadsheets, is into Game of Thrones, Star Wars, the Marvel Universe, and all things nerdiest. In his youth, he was the youngest mayor in the United States and led his town into bankruptcy. His failure haunts him and keeps him from taking risks. He’s also fiercely loyal, a loving husband, and a good friend. A Ben Wyatt caregiver is always there for a loved one, but may find it hard to risk leaving a child with someone else, even someone trusted for any amount of time.
#10: Leslie Knope
Leslie is a woman who is passionate about her work, her friends, and the parks in her hometown. She leaves nothing to chance. She pulls frequent all nighters, filling thick binders with plans, tabs, and color-coded pages for the initiatives she spearheads. Leslie devotes hours to choosing and creating perfect birthday gifts for those she loves. She’s also known for railroading people into doing what she thinks is right instead of listening to what they believe. Leslie Knope caregivers are outstanding in their role. They research their loved ones’ conditions obsessively and advocate relentlessly. They demand perfection from others, which can make them hard to live with.
Now it’s your turn to decide which character best describes your caregiving personality. Once you’ve made your decision, leave a message in the comment box. After a few readers spill their caregiving personality beans, I’ll leave a comment, too. If you haven’t watched the show yet, I encourage you to add it to your list on Netflix or purchase the entire Parks and Recreation DVD series. You won’t be sorry!
Do you like what you see at DifferentDream.com? You can receive more great content by subscribing to the monthly Different Dream newsletter and signing up for the daily RSS feed delivered to your email inbox. You can sign up for the first in the pop up box and the second at the bottom of this page.