Sunday, October 6, 2013

Defining Normal

First of all, for those of you who sent messages inquiring about my procedure, thanks so much for the kind thoughts. I'm all ablated, and hopefully the procedure worked wonderfully and I'll have no more issues. The procedure itself was a breeze; the recovery has been fairly mild. The scarring and adhesions from endometriosis have caused a bit more pain than usual for this procedure, as everything goes back to normal in my abdomen, but all in all very tolerable.

I've been thinking a lot about "normal" lately. Especially in terms of our family unit.  For instance, I thought about it tonight, as I was picking up Amelia's messy messy room, the kids helping me, while Marty threw together dinner in the kitchen. I stepped over a spatula, unused balloons, a tampon wrapper (Amelia LOVES them. Not sure why), dress-up toys, an empty cup, some dried-up shredded cheese.  The kiddie chairs had been dragged over to the front door (for watching the rain?), the kitchen table was covered in art projects and notes home and pictures and a paint stirrer and a mixing bowl. Some of that? Some of it is normal in a house with two kids. Some of it is not-so-normal.

I think my idea of a "normal" family is kind of how I grew up (which is funny because honestly my childhood was anything BUT normal, but to outsiders, it looked pretty damn vanilla).  House was always clean, dinner was a family affair with no television, we followed pretty much the same routine day in and day out.  My dad NEVER cooked--I am certain he wouldn't even know where to start. He did clean some, but most of the cleaning was my mom's job.  She ironed on certain days--even ironed pillow cases.  All in all, it kind of looked like Ward and June Cleaver's household.

My family, by that definition, is not normal.  On any given day, my house can be very neat, or very messy (not dirty...messy. There's a difference.).  By the end of a work week, our kitchen table IS covered in stuff.  Sometimes the floor is, too. The kids' rooms--well, they're always horrific by the end of the week.  You can always find laundry hanging from door frames (no laundry room--have I mentioned I can't wait to move?), drying. Sometimes I cook dinner, sometimes Marty cooks dinner. Sometimes we eat together, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we watch movies at dinner. Sometimes, we play outside until it gets dark. Most days are completely different from the ones before.

One day a few weeks ago, as we were following our bizarre night time routine with the kids, I looked at Marty as we passed and said, "Do you think we are normal? And do you think we are scarring our children because we aren't?"  Looking back, I feel silly even thinking that, but I was really concerned.  His response really stuck with me. He said that no, we might not be "normal", as in like other typical families. But he said that we aren't scarring our children because even though everything isn't always neat and orderly (both physically in our home and emotionally, dealing with special needs and illness and all of the other insanity that life has thrown our way), our children are loved, and supported. They feel comfortable being themselves and they know without a shadow of a doubt that our love is unconditional, that they are safe. That our home is full of happiness.  Stable. And THAT? That's what was missing from my childhood. My childhood was normal on the outside, not on the inside. And if I had my choice? I'd go for normal on the inside any day.

So...maybe we are the normal ones. Maybe normal doesn't exist. We create and define our own normal.

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