A bit late but I intended to do it so I am GOING. TO. DO. IT.
What is normal?
This prompt caught my eye as I was questioned by a Mother about our hectic life due to "letting" our kids play sports and our schedule not being "normal"! Here's my rant!
According to Webster's, normal is conforming with a standard, pattern, level or type - typical - functioning or occurring in a natural way.
Typical ~ let's go with that one!
Raising a step-son with special needs, I really don't like the word "normal". I have come to realize that "normal" is different for everyone. Yes, he has special needs but that is HIS normal. Yes, some of the things he reacts different to are not considered normal but they are typical reactions for him thereby making them his "normal" reactions. People often say after finding out he is Intellectually Disabled (the new PC term for Mentally Retarded) ~ "WOW I never would've guessed since he looks so normal!" OK! Well it is true he does not have any of the outward appearance features that most people associate with mental retardation. I think most people think you have to either have Downs Syndrome, be in a wheelchair unable to control your own body with drool hanging down or completely unable to form a sentence to be labeled ID. NOT TRUE! To look at Tez you would not know he has anything wrong with him. He looks "normal"! His gross motor skills are great and he is very active in sports. His fine motor skills are horrid at best. He is a 9th grader with elementary writing, reading and math skills. He is right on level with a 4th grader when it comes to his education but you would only know that if you were told or asked him to complete some on level 9th grade material. No this may not be "normal" if you include the standards of education they use to evaluate him or if you compare him to other children his age BUT this is HIS normal! I think people focus to much on labeling people or their responses to their own normal.
"Normal" is different for everyone and everyone sets different standards for their life.
What is acceptable for one may not be acceptable for another.
What one child can do may be impossible for the next but who are we to say they are not normal?
Who are we to judge because someone doesn't fit our personal definition of normal??
What I consider not the norm is another's norm.
Yes I have been known to say, "Now that's just not normal!" and I guess I was wrong because it could be normal for them!
Some people do not consider our hectic life normal but for us it is all we know. Are we supposed to sit around and let our children pass up on sports or other activities to become lazy bumps on a log to avoid the hustle and bustle of the "soccer mom" life?
I want my kids to be involved and active. I will support them in their chosen activities whether football, basketball, soccer, band, dance or choir. I must admit baseball and golf would pretty much bore me to death and I would rather rip all of the hair out of my head than to watch either one BUT I would be there sitting in the stands ripping each and every hair out between cheers! YES, it is exhausting and tough but I will not be an uninvolved parent. SO for now this is our norm. Football practices, scrimmages and games ~ our norm. Basketball practices and games ~ our norm. Drive to three different schools each day, volunteer at this school, chaperoning at this activity, coaching this team, working, taking kids to this appointment, going to countless birthday parties, taking snacks to this class or that, reading to them when all I want to do is sit or sleep, helping with homework, attending this meeting, I could go on and on ~ our norm. Some people are home bodies and that is their norm. Our norm these days is hectic at best but we love OUR normal.
We are parents and that is what we signed up for ~ to be involved in our kids lives by supporting them in what they choose not pushing them to be what they don't desire and helping them learn along the way about life while showering them with love.
THAT my friends is OUR normal!!
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