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Our Version of Normal

By: Christie Hoos

Sometimes, I forget.

As we walk hand in hand, jumping over each crack in the sidewalk, while she tugs on my arm… “Sing Mommy! Sing!”

It’s just us today. A rare Mommy-Daughter outing, with no siblings to compete with, and no distractions.

This is sunshine and happy and me with my Good-Parent hat on.

This is the ordinary kind of awesome.

This is normal.

We walk up to the counter at Burger King (Great Parent would have talked her into Subway, but Good Parent heard she wanted “Fies” and aimed to deliver). Anyway, we put in our less-than-optimally-nutritious, but yummy order AND I notice the looks.

For a minute, I’m thrown. I look around and wonder what’s going on.

Sometimes, I forget.

People are staring at us with big grins and smile-y eyes. The kind of looks reserved for fluffy bunnies and newborn kittens. Awwwww… One lady nudges the guy next to her and nods in our direction.

And it clicks. Of course. Now I remember.

All my children are winsome – uniquely beautiful in their own way. But none of the others get this kind of attention.

It’s not a bad thing. Although it does reinforce my little diva’s belief that she is the Centre of the Universe (thank heaven for a little brother on that count).

It’s not a bad thing, but it does remind me, that OUR normal, isn’t exactly… well… normal-normal.

OUR normal involves extra appointments in far away places with all sorts of “oligists” (and an excuse for Mommy-Daughter time, with, perhaps, a detour to Burger King).

OUR normal looks tiny and slightly wobbly, but is fiercely determined to open the heavy doors “by mine-self” (while we wait, and wait… and wait).

OUR normal smells just a little bit off (which is why I carry pull-ups for 40 lbs+ in my purse at all times).

OUR normal sounds like my almost 9-year-old singing “Skinn-a-ma-rink-y Dink-y Dink” at the top of her lungs, while sticking her hand down her pants (and an admiring public who think she’s adorable for it).

OUR normal includes a lot of extras – extra work and extra people and extra effort… and extra attention wherever we go.

But,
it’s not a bad thing.

In fact,
Sometimes I forget.

I forget about Down Syndrome. I forget about the hassles and the heartbreaks and the headaches that inevitably come. And we just live our ordinary awesome, everyday plodding, bittersweet regular life.

Because, for us, this IS normal.

So here’s me, and today I remembered the days, around age 1, when I didn’t think we’d find normal again. And yet, here it is all day everyday. Not exactly normal-normal, but close enough.

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