Sometimes I wonder about the little things in our day to day. We have known Max all his life. We have been in love with him from day one. Funny how love sees perfection. Despite all the “issues and challenges” it’s all normal to us.
Many people will tell you they despise the word normal. That’s ok. I don’t really like it either but it gives you the general idea of how I’m assessing these situations. Is it “normal” that Max has only one word that isn’t really a word? Does every kid have eyelashes growing straight up into his eyeballs? (Maxim’s eyes are big and beautiful after a very successful surgery to fix that) Is it “normal” that he spins in circles? It’s ok that he races along on his tippy toes right? Are weiners a food group? Do most kids use a mirror to feed themselves with a spoon? Do all 5 year olds get a standing ovation for waving bye bye? How about pushing themselves along on their tricycle. No pedals. Does the completion of a closing door thrill all kids? What about diapers at almost 5? Normal? I know the answers …not to worry.
Once you settle into your new home in Holland (a very wise poem a very wise public nurse alerted me to in the beginning “Welcome to Holland” click to read!) you are happy. You don’t need “normal”. You need acceptance and support. You want everyone to have a little understanding of what is what and adjust the “normal” stuff so you can use it easily. It’s not everyone’s story. I get this. Before I had Max I knew of people with kids who had special needs, but I didn’t get where they were coming from. Why do they have to be so frantic and sleepy looking? Oh my, why? Why does it seem like they’re always “fighting a battle” of some sort. Sheesh it can’t be that dramatic….right?? Hmmmm.
Our little lady slept through the night at 4 weeks old. My little boy would be almost 17 months before giving us a peaceful night. Oh wait. Before he had a peaceful night. Shame on me. This is his journey, something was surely upsetting him to be up at least twice every night for almost 1.5 years. I’d sing Anne Murray “Shadows in the Moonlight” and we’d sway and talk. Well I would talk. He would eventually smile and eventually let me lay him down while I did a stealthy back crawl out the door. Funny how I miss those nights. Funnier to me is singing this song today and getting this huge smile from my boy as confirmation that it mattered to him. I love moments like that. When you get a big ol NOTICE that some small thing you did mattered and made a difference.
Is it normal that I still carry a diaper bag? Not just for diapers but for the certain drinks, in certain cups, and iPads and a change of clothes, dry socks, dry mittens, and trains. A snack he will definitely eat (the ever popular slimfast bar) and if it’s going to be a really challenging outing, a kinder egg. Today I went out with the kids, diaper bag in hand and used almost every item in the span of 20 minutes. I cried silent tears of joy when I realized the checkout I picked had NO EGGS. WHEW! Some days I yearn to test it. To go with nothing. What’s the worst that could happen?
Not so long ago we were out and about. Things were hectic. We had a list. Max had train aisles and kinder eggs on his mind. Nothing I could do or say was connecting with him. He was on a mission. Then the meltdown hit. Aisle 2 had kinder eggs placed directly at Max level. I left with him kicking and screaming. This doesn’t always happen. He’s a very happy boy and if things go well things go really well. But if they don’t it’s like trying to get into the hide out after you’ve been swept up into the tornado. You are now in a pickle. You will not get out. You must hold on and wait for it to pass. The GREAT thing is, it always passes!
So there may be some things in our lives that aren’t everyone’s definition of normal. I like it this way. It’s like when you find that one brown chicken in a barn of white. Or the apple with that slight blush of pink inside. It’s special and sweet and you know you’ve hit the jackpot.