Normal is a very subjective term. It can mean that everything is as it should be – our child’s temperature being normal is a good thing. Hearing the doctor say everything is normal at our yearly physical causes a sigh in relief. Normal can also mean typical, just a normal day, uneventful but pleasant.
Lately, however, with labels slapped on everything and everyone, normal can come to mean slightly inferior. Take for instance, food products. Everything is super improved, now more vitamins, no trans fat. What once was acceptable, or normal, is now implied as less desirable than it used to be. We shy away from normal, and ally ourselves with the new and improved.
Also consider those annoying bumper stickers . “I have a gifted chid at Blah Blah Elementary School , or “Proud parent of an honor student at Dismal High School.” Nobody has one stating, “I have a normal child at… ” , although a larger majority are in the normal category. Normal was once acceptable. People were happy to have a normal child, live in a normal neighborhood, have a normal dog. Now people feel the need to proclaim their superior status by bumper stickers reflecting the flavor of the week in government education programs. Or to announce that they have 3 Bouvier de Flanders and an Affenpinscher, instead of one normal dog named Spot.
Note to parents out there: The same people rating children as to whether they are gifted, are the verypeople who currently cannot handle the job they were elected to do, namely, to solve our country’s many prob;ems. I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in what they have to say. After all, they came up with the phrase “SNAFU” meaning SITUATION NORMAL: ALL FOULED UP.
I will now share my special secret with you: I knew my children were gifted before the government got around to figuring it out. All children are gifted. We are all gifted. We just need time to explore and discover our own special gifts. It takes more than a bumper sticker.
So if we are all gifted anyway, and we strip away the labels and peel off the bumper stickers, what we find is normal. Remember, normal is a subjective term. What’s normal for me may not be normal for you. And it is okay to shake normal up once in a while by taking a cruise, parachuting out of an airplane, learning digital photography. Nothing wrong with stretching your normal to cover more things. Normal doesn’t mean you have to conform, because everybody’s normal is different. Normal is just our base, our haven for when life gets out of hand and throws us too many punches. Normal is going home at night to your spouse, 2.5 kids, and Spot, and living the American dream ,whatever that means to you
May we all be blessed with some normal in our lives. No bumper stickers required.,