Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Those of us that walk to the left side of "normal" seek to know just exactly what normal is.
Don't ask me, I'm not normal.
But I do have friends that most definitely walk right through the very center of normal, and it's so helpful to have their input on things. It's a balm to hear, "That's perfectly normal" when I'm explaining a feeling, a problem, a parenting dilemma, a marital issue. Just hearing, just knowing, just being reassured that what I am experiencing, others have also experienced, helps.
I was teaching back in 1987 and attended a workshop for teachers on how children of alcoholics view the world. "Children of alcoholics don't know what normal is," said the presenter.
Those words I never forgot, and frequently replay in my head when I'm thinking, What the hell do I know about normal?
Those of us with special needs kids have been taught to eschew the word "normal" in favor of "typical." Splitting hairs, if you ask me, either way it means not the same. Different. Off.
Last night I had a dream in which the most memorable kids from that first class, appeared. Not a "normal" one in the bunch. They were all grown up and we stood around cocktail party style and reminisced.
When I woke up this morning and turned on my computer, I had an e-mail, via Facebook, from a "kid" in that class.
Has a kid of his own the age he was when I had him. "I know now what you were up against," he said with good humor.
Not every "normal" person would have gone to all that trouble.
At least if I walk to the left, I walk in good company.