Monday, January 30, 2012

Normality - The Special Needs Showcase

I've been thinking about one thing a lot this week – “normality”. It's frequently been on my mind the last few months but last week's Special Needs Showcase brought it to the fore again.  Here's my introduction for this week's Showcase - it took a while to write and I wasn't really sure I knew where I was going with it, but I think that it turned out ok... maybe?

I mean, what is “normal”?  Is it the opposite of abnormal, the usual and just plain regular?
Are any of us truly “normal”?  Sane, with average personality and intellect – surely not! 
Does “normal” actually exist?  Apart from serving to establish a standard – which no one can live up to but many will try to… 
Do we strive for “normality”?  Perhaps… I know that I do sometimes, I wonder if you do, too?  There are days when I don’t want to be different: I want my family to be a regular, run of the mill, normal family with 2.4 children and a dog (and a cat and a couple of goldfish), who goes on holiday twice a year and is always having fun.   But then I stop myself, seeking some sort of reality, and ask “does normal family life really exist?”
Are our lives “normal”?  No, not in the conventional way perhaps, as many of us have children with special needs, but, yes, they are normal for us.  We all find a new sense of normal and we continue to do so probably on a daily basis: after the “diagnosis, after each stage of acceptance, after setbacks, after illness, after changes in our lives.  We redefine what is normal even though each day we are blessed with is anything but normal: but this is our normal and we are living it, one day at a time, as best as we can.  We see ourselves as no different to others - we are not superhuman, we are not heroes (although I do have days of grandeur!) – and we want to be accepted just as we are.  Just as we want our children to be accepted too – just as they are - special needs, disability and all. 

So h0pefulmummy, are you “normal”? 
Do you strive for “normality”? 
Or are you looking  to be accepted?
No, I'm looking for acceptance;
But, really, I'm just me being me...

“Normal is nothing more than a cycle on a washing machine.” 
Whoopi Goldberg

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