Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Those of us that walk to the left side of "normal" seek to know just exactly what normal is.

I think.

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.

No accidents.

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.


Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

You are so connected and in tune, and I think that's better than normal. I love that guy for emailing you.

Wanda said...

Normal is boring.

pixiemama said...

Wow. Rings true on so, so many levels. Peal a layer back, find more of the same - maybe more complicated, maybe more unresolved, but essentially the same.

Seeing normal makes me feel inadequate. Normal overwhelms me.

Love. Love grounds me.

Robin said...

I had a friend whose brother was a dwarf. His mother always insisted that they refer to people as average in height -- not normal.

kario said...

Damn good company!

And if normal is something other than you, I don't want to be it.


jess said...

i don't know sht from shinola about normal, sister. but like wanda said, from where i'm sitting, it's never looked particularly interesting. easier sometimes? hell yes, but far, far less interesting.

Lola said...

I'm over there on THAT side of the road too! LOVE the company!

She said...

You know how much I LOVE facebook! Awesome.

And, I have no idea what normal is.

Amber said...

THANK GAWD you are here with the rest of us!

I have this book, "adult child's guide to what is normal". It has helped me a LOT. Mostly, just to know I am not alone on this side of the street...and that's cool. Whatevs-- as Wyatt likes to say. ;)


Michelle O'Neil said...

So great your former student called you! You've touched many, many lives.

If you think about normal, the word is very strange. Not the definition, just the sound of it. All nasally, and what not. I don't like it. Not one bit. Normal can suck it.

Deb Shucka said...

Walking right beside you enjoying the weirdnesses that show up along the way.