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Normal or Extraordinary?

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Catching up and sharing from the files of my ramblings. This particular set is from October 26, 2015.

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Normal is just a setting on a washing machine.

I’ve read it and heard it a million times over since our son’s autism diagnosis, but when I read that, I often think the truth is, all special needs parents really want is a chance at normalcy. Sometimes I wonder if that isn’t what all parents want: normalcy. I wonder this because I look around and I see people fighting battles of all kinds.

No one is immune to the pressures of this life. Some battle autism, some battle cancer. Others I know press on despite the challenges of dyslexia, ADD and ADHD. Some families live with epilepsy hanging over their heads, and others wonder when the next bout of chest pains will come for their athlete.

Some families wonder where the next job move will take them and how their kids will adjust to the move. Others wonder if they’ll even have a job next month or next week, and if not, how will they provide for their family?

Other families are looking at their growing children and wondering where they will attend college and how, as parents, they will pay the tuition; or if their students will join the military and if so, where will they serve?

We all have challenges of some sort. And I think we all hold on to the glimpses of normal we see in our family life. Perhaps it is those glimpses which get us through the next challenge and the next and the next…knowing that somewhere down in the depths of who we are as a family, there is some sense of normalcy and what that means for our family. Perhaps “normal” is different for each of us.

Perhaps it’s a dad and a son going out to do morning chores together, perhaps it’s that same dad and another son singing happily as they head to the truck to make a Sunday afternoon run to the grocery store. Perhaps it’s a mom and her oldest huddled around old photo albums looking for just the right baby picture to submit for senior honors, or the same mom and her youngest snuggled up as the littlest reads a story for the one who rocks her world.

It’s in these moments of what may seem all too normal to the outside observer, that I realize we are given moments of extraordinary to get us through until the next normal. I hope that I don’t spend all of my moments wishing for the normal, when I could be experiencing the extraordinary.

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