Saturday, April 24, 2010


So the other day I was in a friend's house and saw a plaque in her living room that read, "Remember: Everyone Else Thinks We Are a Nice Normal Family". I love this. Typically, I see plaques in peoples homes reading, "Return with Honor" or "Remember Who You Are" but to me just having your teenagers live up to the perception of being in a "nice and normal family" is about all you can ask for some days. LOL I certainly know that others do not view my family as "normal." I am a bit in denial about this most days. I feel like we have a very similar life to those around us. My kids are picky eaters- who isn't, my kids have schedules of therapies and sports- again, like most just with different activities, my kids watch TV and play outside and really enjoy life- like most families. So, every now and then when I am faced with a different reality it surprises me. (You feel a story coming don't you?)

Last night, with my husband out of town, I took my babysitter and 3 children to a church picnic at a park. I have never been to this particular park so I didn't know what to expect. I did know that there was a pond which is a HUGE reason I took my sitter. Off subject, why is there a law to have a pool fence in your yard and yet the city builds all our parks with unfenced lakes?! I don't get this! OK, back to the story. So, we park and make it onto the grass just in time for Max to throw his first fit. He wanted to go his own way and not hold my hand. He's three. SOOOO three. Off we go to find a spot to play.

I am scanning the park for the playground only to be sadly disappointed. 4 swings and some rocks to climb. 150 kids and 4 swings. I knew then that we could not go near them. If my kids do manage to get on the swings, they are not getting off in 2 minutes for someone else's turn. At least not happily. And I like happily. So, we settle in the volleyball court sand. Thank you to the mom that brought sand toys and let my kids play with them!!! I had already fed the kids because I knew they wouldn't eat with so much going on. (See, I'm not a Spring Chicken.)

Anyway, as I am sitting there looking around at families eating and children running around playing I start thinking if this would be possible for me. Could I sit and talk to other women from the church and let my kids run around the pond? The enormous park? To the 4 swings which are out of sight from the armada? To the bathroom by themselves? NO. I could not. But others could. There were little kids, 2-3 year old kids running and I mean running around the pond. This would give me a heart attack. If I let my kids run wild, I can pretty much count on the fact that within 15 minutes one would be in the pond, another in the parking lot and another crying from falling off of something. So there we sat in our contained little space and when all three children had their hair full (and I mean full) of sand, we left. (This would create tantrum #2.) I am not complaining. I love my life. Like I said, sometimes I just forget that it is different than most. I believe I get many blessings through opportunities that others do not get. Perhaps I miss out on experiences that they get but that's what life is about. Learning and becoming stronger people through the different experiences we have. I wouldn't trade. I really, truly wouldn't.


Tiffany said...

I don't have near the challenges you do but I can understand a little bit about where you are coming from. It is interesting as we grow up you do things very similar to your peers... you progress from grade to grade in a particular fashion. After High School life takes a few different paths as some get married and some graduate from college and have careers but most of us expect to end up with similar lives someday and then we start having children and with each new adventure it seems to make us different from our "peers" until the term normal is really ambiguous. You know that you are always going to be the one to aquaintances "Oh I know this girl who all of her children have downs" you are a story. I will be the one- oh my friend had 4 kids 4 and under (not quite as much of an attention getter but a story none the less.) Yet you are right, I wonder why the Lord had blessed me so much and people look at it like a curse- I am hoping that no matter what our situations in life the Lord is molding us into the person HE wants us to become!

Michelle said...

We just make our own set of normal, that's all, huh? I think that too every time we are at a function like that. Can't usually sit right in the middle front and center at Ry's band concerts, because my little entertainer is not going to be able to sit still during it. He'll want to dance. So it's to the back and on the side, where there's room for him to move. Can't just go to someone's house and relax. He will find his way into their bedroom and crawl in their bed or try on some clothes. Talking to moms? Yeah. Doesn't happen unless Dad's along and then he doesn't get to talk to anyone. But we make our own kind of normal and that's just fine with me. I love him - all of him - just the way he is!
My point - been there, done that - got the t-shirt right there along side you. One or four. Doesn't make much of a difference! (that's what she says - huh? ROFL!) LOL!
(((hugs))) Shawnie!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this, Shawnie. You just described my life. I wouldn't change it either,and I believe as a whole I experience things that others really miss out on. You did a nice job of describing those moments when I'm reminded that my life is not normal. What I've come to see as normal, but not "normal". :)
Thanks again for sharing.