Selma Blair covers People, her son says ‘Mommy’s not sick. Mommy’s brave’

Last month, Selma Blair posted a sweet Instagram of her son, Arthur, helping her buzz her hair. People shared the post along with comments that Selma had made to Robin Roberts on Good Morning America about Arthur’s reaction when she told him that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). He had immediately asked whether she was going to die because she had MS. I’d written that I couldn’t imagine what it was like for Selma to have to explain her diagnosis to Arthur and then to be asked whether MS would cause her to die. I think it’s wonderful that Selma hasn’t hidden her MS from Arthur, but has talked about it with him in age-appropriate ways, and has let him help her do things like buzz her hair.

Selma covers the current issue of People, and she discusses living with MS, shares more about how Arthur is dealing with it, and how he has called her “brave”:

Blair, 47, says she is honest with Arthur (his father is fashion designer Jason Bleick, whom Blair dated from 2010-2012) about her new challenges and is constantly impressed by his resilience.

“He’s had to endure a lot; he’s seen a lot,” Blair exclusively tells PEOPLE in the latest issue, including watching her fall down stairs or rush to a bathroom if she’s feeling sick.

But Arthur doesn’t view his mom’s weaknesses negatively, she says. “He says, ‘Mommy’s not sick. Mommy’s brave.’ ”

The actress says she was recently surprised to learn that Arthur enjoys having her visit his school.

“He said, ‘I love when you come to school because you make the kids laugh and you answer all their questions,’ ” she recalls. Blair says she doesn’t shy away from explaining to the kids about why she “walks and talks funny.”

“I explain what’s happening and that my voice doesn’t hurt, and we have really decent exchanges,” she says. “I had no idea Arthur was proud of that. I thought ‘I’m probably an embarrassment,’ but to know I’m not was one of my proudest moments.”

[From People]

Arthur’s 8th birthday was Thursday; Selma posted a heartfelt message to him on Instagram Wednesday:

This story was lovely to read; Selma seems like such a great mom, and it’s evident that Arthur agrees. I love that he likes her visiting him at school (and that he told her)! Back in March, Selma and Sarah Michelle Gellar did an interview with Entertainment Weekly to mark the 20th anniversary of Cruel Intentions, and the article included the note that Selma asked that they conduct a joint interview because she “sometimes struggled with her speech, and [Sarah] would be able to help.” I think that might have been when I learned that Selma has difficulty speaking at times, and I thought that her request for the shared interview spoke volumes about the close relationship that the two women have. Selma explaining to Arthur and his classmates about her experience of MS, including why her speech pattern is sometimes different than what they might expect, is so important because it helps to demystify the disease in a way that children can understand.



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17 Responses to “Selma Blair covers People, her son says ‘Mommy’s not sick. Mommy’s brave’”

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  1. ds says:

    I really like her. It must be so emotionally hard not just physically dealing with something that wants to stop you while you have so much drive boiling inside. I just went through her insta and saw the Cecile shoes. OMG! I’m watching Cruel intentions tonight. That film was my teenage years favorite. I remember (early stages of internet when it would make that sound when connecting, who remembers?) seeing it for the first time and the credits song was by placebo, it took me ages to find out about the music and soundtrack. Brings back great memories. Anyway, sorry for digression, I hope Selma keeps having the energy and will power and enjoy the good things in life.

  2. CharliePenn says:

    Can I say something here… and please know I am not here to attack an obviously strong woman who is indeed brave… but again I am left wondering if he’s being parentified.

    In her last interview she spoke of him being her “rock”, which was concerning because a child is a child not a support system for an adult.
    And this interview… it’s just all about her. And how HE makes HER feel better about her illness and herself. Then comes that post about his birthday… which is really a post about Selma. Read it again. It’s about her as a mother, her change of life, even about how SHE felt as an eight year old. Not one bit about who he is and what he’s like and what she’s proud of about him as a person.

    I was made to be the parent as a child. My value lied in how I made my mom feel, how I made her better, how I supported her. She didn’t know or care about me as a person.
    I see this pattern clearly here. I hope he has more adults around to nurture him as an individual because it seems to me that Selma is making him into a support for her own feelings and her own hardship.

    I would not say this to her face because it would never be my place. I’m saying this on a gossip site to see if anyone else sees what I see… and to just caution against this behavior. It’s so damaging to kids, and it’s often done without the parent really realizing.
    She is going through the hardest of hardships. I am not saying this to tear her down. But I do see what’s happening and I worry for that child.

    • Lucy says:

      I agree. It’s unhealthy for a little kid to be a “rock” to a parent. It’s too big a burden. I feel bad for Selma having to deal with such a debilitating disease but she has a great attitude.

      • minime says:

        I can understand what you say and I agree that parents need to be careful to not invert the role of a child (as per instance sometimes is seen with cases of divorce, where children become the “best friend”).
        Still, parents also need to be careful to not exclude children from important happenings in their lives, as it is the case with such a debilitating disease like MS.
        Children know that something is going on and most of the times if no one includes them in the conversation they will start to act out, because they are fearful, confused, depressed and most of the times don’t know how to communicate, and express their doubts and fears.
        As a child psychologist I worked both with children from divorced families and also children where one of the parents had a highly debilitating disease (like MS). It was heartbreaking to see that some of those parents would try to protect their children to the maximum, by trying exactly that they would be spared from the details of their diseases…mostly that provoked more anger and sadness: they were afraid that the parent would die but didn’t feel like they could ask to anyone since this was never or almost never approached, they didn’t understand why the parent couldn’t do certain things with them, like having them on their lap or going for a long day in the amusement park, and so on… Just to say that it’s difficult to find a middle term and to exclude a child from the conversation is not the solution either. Parents try to do their best and what works for one child might not work for another. I don’t know her, so I don’t know if she’s giving him too much responsibility, but from her posts I personally just see a mom looking for strength in her son and including him in the conversation. (But i’m not knocking down your comment, I think it’s really an important conversation to have and the equilibrium is difficult to achieve)

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      Im sorry that you were made to feel that way as a child. But…I also feel like there is quite a lot of projection in your comment. Your relationship with your mother sounds incredibly sad and toxic. I don’t see that at all with Selma and her son. At all. And I say that as someone who has an incredibly toxic relationship with my father. She’s talked a ton about her son in other interviews and posts so it’s a bit unfair to take one Instagram post as an indication of how she feels or sees her child.

    • Jess says:

      I understand what you’re saying, but I take it more as she draws her strength and will to go on from wanting to be a good mom. Not necessarily that she leans on him too much. I’m sure it’s a difficult balance, plus she got a lot of heat a few years ago for being a bad mother and drinking a lot or whatever happened with that plane incident, so maybe she’s overcompensating now in the media. I can’t imagine how difficult her life is, and she doesn’t have a significant other so naturally she may depend on her son a bit more, hopefully it’s a healthy amount. I did look through her Instagram and she posts a lot of pictures of just him, which is a good sign to me. I can usually spot a narcissist when they claim a post is about someone else but every picture has them in it as well. LeAnn Rimes is a perfect example of that, she’ll post birthday collages for someone else but all the pictures include her, lol.

    • R. says:

      I don’t mean to attack you either, but please understand this is ONE moment where she praises and celebrates her kid publicly, who seems to be very emphatic and hopefully, will shape into an emphatic adult. You don’t see or know the way she parents behind the scene, , year after year, day in, day out, while taking care of her health issues and job. You don’t know the way she cares for him in private. She’s celebrating and thanking him for being great already. Some kids are privileged to have healthy, financially stable, loving parents and to be sheltered from any form of discrimination, real loss or hurt, and some kids don’t and aren’t. Doesn’t mean that kids with parents of immigrant and/or of colour and/or with disabilities and/or queer, and/or financially struggling parents are not loving or trying to provide the best care for their kid(s). It just look different. And yes, they do have to grow up little to a lot faster than some,but that’s just life. Doesn’t mean they can’t be happy or grow up happy and have a full, rich life.

    • Whatever Gurl says:

      I had the exact same thought.

      Parentification messes kids up.

      It does!

      It’s not a healthy dynamic in my opinion bc the boy doesn’t have a choice—he’s being forced in this role.

    • R. says:

      Oh, crap, did not read your full comment, so sorry about that. I’m really sorry you went through that with your mum. I’m really if I came off too harsh/ condescending/ high strung towards you. Though I do stand by my comment. Her involving, informing and educating her kid about her health issues as much as he can handle, is the best for the both of them

      • CharliePenn says:

        No worries R.
        I agree, he should be involved and informed. What worries me is how she talks about him affecting her feelings about her disease. Her emotions about her disease should be for other adults to hear, empathize with, and help her with. Not her child. The emotional support should come from other adults, not her child. I hope that makes some sense?
        And the information should be carefully laid out to him a step at a time.

        It takes a childhood away, when a child is parentified. It happened to me. But I see that there is a middle ground. I know I’m very sensitive to this.

    • ChillyWilly says:

      I had the same thoughts as you, CharliePenn.

  3. MachineElf says:

    What a lovely family. Selma Blair seems to have a wonderful spirit. As parents I think we all worry how our physical or emotional struggles will affect our child. I like to think that my struggles have shown my child that it is normal and okay to not always be at 100%, contrary to what Positivity Culture sometimes implies. I remember as a child feeling guilty for feeling bad. I never want my child to feel that way.

  4. Jess says:

    He’s a strikingly beautiful little boy, his eyes are especially gorgeous. I hope he’s always proud of his mom and that other children don’t ever make fun of him! I’m sure it’s tough to watch her go through so much, I can’t imagine at that age.

  5. L84Tea says:

    I am really pulling for her. This is giving me Annette Funicello flashbacks all over again, which was so upsetting to witness. I admire her strength.

  6. Aenflex says:

    I actually think she’s bringing him too far into the disease fold. You be can open and honest with a child about things like this, you can answer their questions, ease their minds.

    But this all feels like too much and too far to me. A lot of unnecessary weight for a child to bear. Feels like his childhood will be all about his mother’s disease.

    • Valiantly Varnished says:

      She’s a single mother. I was raises by a single mother. And it’s nearly impossible when you’re the only parent to not be completely honest and open with your child. There are no buffers. She is being open and honest with him. He SHOULD be included. This is his life too. Her illness affects her ability to parent. She has talked about this. Including him helps him feel perhaps a little less powerless and a bit less afraid of the unknown.

  7. Erika says:

    I’m jumping in here as the child of someone with MS – she’s doing this great.

    My dad always was clumsy (twisting ankles, tripping, etc) when i was growing up but when I left for college, I wasn’t seeing what was going on – so my first indication that something was wrong was when he fell so badly my mom had to admit to me that he needed MRIs. IT. WAS. HORRIBLE. I’m the oldest, and I was maybe 19/20? My siblings were 3, 10, and 13 and they were terrified because no one was talking directly to them. After his first stint in the hospital right after that, we made it a rule that I know fully whats going on – as does the 13 yo once she graduated college – but for the younger ones got age appropriate and accurate information. They went to appointments, were in charge of grabbing dad’s cane or walker, grabbing his meds out of the fridge, etc

    It’s not bringing him in too far to include him and let him know realistically and age appropriately whats going on. Being able to help your parent gives you a sense of control in a situation where you don’t have it. She has a great support team and is good at asking for what help she needs, which I guarantee is the result of an excellent therapist. Big part of that therapy is also how to talk to kids.