It seems to always be lying dormant- the constant fear that something is going to happen. I fear that when things seem to be running smoothly and there have been no bumps in the road- it is waiting to wake up and come out of hiding.
I always wonder if other parents live in that constant state? Or is it when you have a child with disabilities? Is it normal to think about those things- to wait for “something” to happen?
As I reflected on my own experiences as a mom and trying to normalize for myself what other parents think, feel, or do, I started to think about this idea of “normalcy” in general.
And then, of course, it got me thinking about my own children.
As a societal truth, we all want to fit in- point blank, whether be us as a child, adolescent, or adult. We have developed this notion that if you don’t fit into the norm, or do those things that are of the norm, then something needs to be addressed. We are always looking for what is wrong, instead of what is right.
I always talk about typical and non-typical individuals as if they are two different entities; but the truth is, there is no one box for any child, for any one person.
While I do have a child with obvious disabilities and an actual diagnosis, I do have another child who doesn’t.
But he isn’t a typical kid in so many ways and I don’t think I want him to be.
Noah does things on Noah time- he isn’t the first one to run out and play a sport without observing or surveying the room first. He is very attached to his parents. Sometimes, his emotional responses to situations are ones that I do not expect.
Noah beats to his own drum- he is a typical kid in “society’s definition,” but he has his own unique characteristics that make him, him. But, isn’t that what we want- for our kids to be their own person?
I think I worried so much during his infancy about hitting each milestone- getting him involved in every possible class or activity offered for him- I had to keep up with the pressures surrounding being a mom, and ensuring that my child would be offered the same experiences as my fellow moms- the pressure grew and grew.
But then, this amazing thing happened.
I became a mom a second time to a daughter who, no matter what society dictates, she won’t be following that typical path.
Struggling with this idea that this is her story, it finally dawned on me- isn’t our life, our family- just as valuable as a “typical” one?
I am appreciative of understanding what is considered to be “normal”- because as I have grown as an adult, a mom, a friend, a wife, a daughter- I don’t want that for any of us. Because…what is normal? What is typical? And who truly decides that?
I wish for our family to continue to be our unique selves, our best selves, and to make sure that we don’t conform to the ways that society has deemed appropriate-because what does that even mean?
So, just maybe that thing that has been lying dormant inside of me, has been this awakening that I needed.
Perhaps it is ok to pave your own way and create a new path that leads to the same place.
Or, perhaps, there is a one that is just waiting, dormant, and yet to be discovered.