Monday, January 30, 2012

Normal is for the birds

(Alternate titles: To heck with Normal; Whoever said I was normal, If you’re normal, I’m glad I’m not…etc…etc….etc)

My husband likes to remind me whenever I’m doing something the way my family does, that I’m not normal. Just having cake after a baptism—not normal. Christmas lunch of appetizers—not normal. So on and on goes the list. Some people may be offended by that…but growing up as one of eight kids, I learned quickly that a large family who didn’t have cable and drove a fifteen passenger van—ISN’T NORMAL.

And so, I like to think he came to this relationship fully cognizant of the fact that this her woman, she ain’t normal. And that means, often times I buck the mainstream. Sometimes I know what I’m doing isn’t how “normal” people do things. Other times I’m clueless. Meals after baptisms…I didn’t realize that was how “it was done.” I’d only seen it done once…but when I thought about it, I’d only been to one non-Knox child baptism. So we compromised between his “what people do” and my “just cake.”

But that got me thinking about what messages we, as parents, send to our kids.  We need to do what society expects of us…but we expect our kids to fall for the “we'll we aren’t everybody line” to their “but everybody does it” pleadings. And even though I’m not “normal,” there are times when I find myself falling into line with “everybody else.”

And so, I vow to continue to be abnormal:

We have three cars to a two adult household (See Marc, you’re not Normal either)

I’m a WAHM…pretty sure that’s not the trend.

I don’t have cable (and pretty sure Autumn’s going to have to deal with that growing up…are more channels worth an extra $700 a year or more?)

I cloth diaper my kid.

I will have more than 1.25 kids (apparently the average number of kids per US household is actually .94…how do you have a decimal kid?)—Hey, Hey we already scoffed the norm, but I plan to at least have double the average…how many can I talk Marc into?

I’m sure if you asked my husband, he’d have more examples for you…or “abnormalities” that have been “normalized.” But, I don’t do things for the sake of being normal, or doing what they do… If it makes sense, if it’s doable, and if I’m ok with it..then I’ll come to the main stream. At least that’s what I’m hoping I do.

Lately it’s become more of a thing I’m aware of. What we are projecting to our kids? We want them to be their own person and do what they do because it’s right or it’s what THEY want—but is that what they see?

Let’s make “Not Normal” the “thing to do.” My child’s on a great start. In 6M clothing and not even three months ( I don’t care that three months is in 2 days). Teething and not even three months…born the size of a giant…you see…definitely my child.

I better be a good role model on bucking the norm….Maybe I’ll start raising quail… Winking smile

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