Thursday, October 25, 2007

Normal

Normal.

There's been a lot of posts on my favorite blogs lately about kids and "normal." Rightfully so, as some of my fellow Mommy bloggers are being told about their children's differences by specialists, and get to join the rest of us in the fancy letters group.

"Hi, my name is Tracey and my kid has Executive Functioning disorder and auditory SID."

"HI, Traceeeey..."

Let me just say that Early Intervention is Wonderful. It helps soooo many kids to catch up to their peers, in a time where the world is moving so very very fast. It's just unfortunate that these differences have to come with a label. Letters after your name.... It's unfortunate that more new parents aren't aware of the extremely vast spectrum of challenges they will face before they start on their parenting journey. And that these challenges are seen as completely "normal."

It got me thinking of a post that I started but abandoned a while ago. A post about the things "they" never told you before you became a parent. And if they had told you, would you have even believed them?

Would you ever truly understand that your heart can break, and that you will have all of your modesty, pride, confidence, and power stripped from you? That holding your tiny newborn baby, either adopted or fresh from your womb, will scare the crap out of you while also causing the most primal instincts of protection, survival, love, and fear?

I know that I'd read about it. I feel I was as realistically prepared as possible. I mean, you know motherhood is hard. Gawd, Oprah says "A SAHM is the hardest job in the world!" about 32 times each episode (which, really? Really? I mean, Yes. It IS hard, but the hardest in the world? Harder than running a country? Brain surgery? Feeding and caring for third world orphans? Hmmmm. I disagree, Ope.) but you don't know until you are in the trenches with boogers on your cheek, poop on your shirt, tripping over Legos, stinking to high heaven, and feeling as though you're caught in a vicious circle of Motherhood repetition that you get it.

My kids are NOT perfect.

Thank God for that. Thank God that my oldest is "scientifically minded" and particular. Yes, it has been a hard road to travel. Yes, I have spent many days crying over piano teachers quitting, notes home from school about outrageous behavior, arguments over the basic functions required for our family's life to simply RUN, let alone flourish....

Thank God my middle child is the obstinate maniac that he is. He is so like his mother.... ahem...
Thank God he keeps us on our toes, makes us laugh, makes me scream more than is necessary, has the most incredible imagination (you should have heard the discussions he and the Little People were having in the tub last night!) and has me wondering daily if he is just ignoring me or is really hard of hearing. (of course, the whispered "do you want some candy?" behind his head always solves that fear...)

Thank God I got sick when I did, found the tumors on my ovaries and had surgery. If not for that horrifically scary time, my precious Corinne wouldn't be here. And without her, I wouldn't have this one last chance to be a Mommy again, to parent a daughter with whom I share many laughs, play dolls with, and model what it means to be a woman to. She is my legacy, my younger self yet Not, my sweet, sweet heart...

My kids are different. Did I ever want that whole picket fence/clean, model house/perfect, smiling Stepford children scenario? No, not since I was about 8 and playing Barbies. I actually love that our family is less than perfect. I know that we have thistle weeds in our front yard, toys scattered everywhere in the backyard and that most of our attempts at growing plants went out the window when the bunnies attacked. I know that my son's hair is wild and unruly, and that he twists it into knots every. Single. Hour. of every day. I know that the house is a mess, there isn't enough money in the bank, and that we don't see my husband enough.

But it's MY LIFE. My one chance. Please don't pressure me or anyone else into thinking that my life is anything other than blessed. I know, I KNOW the hardships that are out in the world. I pray that the hardships that will come my way (and they will, they always do) will be ones that will teach me without devastating me.

Where was I going with this? Ah, yes. Normalcy. I guess my point is that from the outside, I appear fairly normal. But that normal is, in itself, a sort of oxymoron, isn't it? Since nobody is the same, how can ANYbody be normal?

13 comments:

Rimarama said...

Awesome post! Do you read "Queen of Shake-Shake?" She posts a lot about the subject of "normalcy" in the context of her son.

Michelle said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and your honesty!

This reminds me of an "essay" I've seen on the internet before ... it's a play on a dr giving a pregnant women a dx for her unborn baby - the dx being "Normal Syndrome." A quick search and I found it on this blog: http://www.pool-room.com/2003/02/how-to-give-parents-a-pre-natal-diagnosis/

LaughterThoughts said...

good post:):):)

Beck said...

I love my imperfect family, too.
(and on a side note: my childless brother and sister-in-law have told me that they CANNOT WAIT to have a baby because then she can take a year off to just "relax." HAHAHAHAHAH!)

Type (little) a said...

well said

Phoenix said...

Great post Tracy.

You know, normal would be so boring. ;)

Melissa said...

I remember reading a book one time where the lady said she would start taking parenting advice from Oprah as soon as Lady O had slapped down her last $10 for diapers...
You're right. There is no such thing as normal. Someone once referred to my "normal children" and then the "other one" and I laughed. There is nothing normal about ANY of my kids! And you're right to celebrate that! I love that they are so stinking unique and different. Wouldn't have it any other way! :)

Melissa R. Garrett said...

"Thank God my middle child is the obstinate maniac that he is. He is so like his mother.... ahem...
Thank God he keeps us on our toes, makes us laugh, makes me scream more than is necessary, has the most incredible imagination (you should have heard the discussions he and the Little People were having in the tub last night!) and has me wondering daily if he is just ignoring me or is really hard of hearing. (of course, the whispered "do you want some candy?" behind his head always solves that fear..."

Tracey - this part, in particular, had me nodding in agreement. I feel like I could have written this post myself. Well done!!

Kristi said...

Great post. And normal is a relative term. I've always believed this.

Tricia said...

Normal, to who??? Ya know?

Christina said...

Thank you for this post. You're right - it's so important to consider just what normal is, and consider how dull life would be if we were all "normal".

The word has been banned in our house. No longer will we talk about normal and not normal. It's better for us, and doesn't let Cordy think she's not as good because she's not "normal".

And you're right that Early Intervention is sooo wonderful! I love Cordy's teachers!

Don Mills Diva said...

I came via Shooting for Hip at Better Than A Playdate.

I wasn't reading you when you wrote this Tracey and obviously I was missing out - this is definitely one of the great posts!

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