Ray and I were viewing a DVD on parenting tonight, and the Pastor in reference to talking about the way people come to view the world said, "We all pick up a normal somewhere along the way, don't we."
Normal is something parents of children with differences think about a lot. In Charlie's story I mention that at some point in our journey we found a "new normal". I may talk about a lot of things--therapy, doctors appointments and tests, IEP's, IFSP's, IPP's, services--that many families would consider a crazy amount of extra. To us, this is just normal. Actually, with Charlie being our first child, we have literally never known any different. This is simply a part of the fabric of our day.
I think there are a lot of things that we as families and individuals see as out of the ordinary, so we decline from getting involved. It is weird if it is not our normal. Parents of children with differences are in many ways thrust in to this world. So, we grieve, we research, we learn, we reorient ourselves, and we move on.
This is the thing. I am a person of comfort. I hesitate to venture too far from what feels safe to me. I would not dare to think that I would be interested in raising a child with Down Syndrome had it not been given to me, and now... Now I wonder how other families get by without this enduring blessing.
There are a few hopes I have for this humble little blog. I humbly hope that I will be diligent enough to write a few things down about my kids, to record my thoughts and feelings about them, to share their milestones and the funny things they do. I hope that this blog will bring awareness to people about what life is like for families who experience disability or differences. I hope parents will begin to to dream the dream that they can "handle this" in their lives. That this journey, for all of us, starts out as anything but normal. That is okay. If anything, I hope this little blog helps a parent or two come to understand that they will pick up a different "normal", and before they know it, that old way will all seem so surreal and far away.