Face it, at some point in our lives we have all wondered if we were normal. Maybe our health, symptoms, reactions to stress…etc. Most of us have asked a friend or family member if they agreed with us. Is this a normal reaction or am I over-reacting? How about the common “Dr. I feel yada yada yada, is that normal”? Can any of you define “normal” for me. Fyi, that is a rhetorical question because I probably won’t agree with anyone’s response. No offense intended!
The word normal usually is not even in my vocabulary! Although I am embarrassed to admit I have used it in the past I’m sure. However, I haven’t been “normal” from the day I entered this world. That is not an exaggeration either. Example A: My legs/hips grew abnormally in the womb and when the doctors laid me flat after birth my legs flopped up and to either side of my torso. Imagine those baby dolls back in the day, the ones you could move just the arms and legs at the joints. Well take this doll’s legs and bend those legs up, one foot on either side of her head. Yup that’s what I looked like at birth. And here, let me add a laugh to this story. They laid me in the nursery like that!!!!! Legs spread for all the new parents and families to see when trying to view their new bundle of joy! I’m glad I have no memories of this event! The doctors gave my parents some sort of sheet thingy to wrap around my legs holding them in the normal side by side position. This allowed my hips to fuse together properly. Luckily this worked. And yes I held my bottle with my feet. Be honest, most of you were wondering about that. Lol. Anyhow, That’s not where the weird stopped for me. Example B: At 2 months of age I required emergency surgery on my neck after my nana walked in the room and found me laying in my crib with a tennis ball sized “lump” on the right side of my neck. Doctors said this was probably due to the difficult delivery my mom had. During her c-section they pulled me out using my head! The muscle in my neck experienced some freak growth spurt causing the muscle to bend or pop outward. The doctor informed my parents they should feel very lucky. He claimed he had only READ about this condition, never actually seen it due to its rarity. In the stories he read in medical school NONE of the babies survived because the muscle had bent/popped inward (rather than outward like mine) blocking the airway and suffocating the infant before doctors could fix it. What??? All in the first 2 months of my life.
The weird doesn’t stop there either but I’m not going to list all of my mysterious life “events” that followed that, including but not limited to, the present time. I just want to tell others that no matter what you have been through, YOU are the only person in this world that should define your own normal. Do you think ANYTHING about my first few months of life were “normal? Of course not. But normal or not, it happened and I’m still here. I have a lot to be thankful for! Even with my depressing medical problems, infertility and such, I’m very lucky, blessed, what ever you want to call it.
As a teenager I was the girl whose clothes never matched. Not just because we were dirt poor but because ” I didn’t wanna”. If you ask any of my good friends past or present, how I feel about my appearance they will tell you without hesitation “Life is too short for matching socks”. I have said that for so many years I can’t even tell you when it started. Yes I’m known for NEVER wearing matching socks. My students used to love sitting on the carpet at circle time just to find out what my daily sock combo looked like. Every year it rubbed off and all of them started mixing up their socks. I was flattered! Some of the parents were put off by this but I wasn’t concerned about that. I was proud of my kids for using their socks to express themselves. And the parents that didn’t mind were the ones that realized by giving their kids this decision in the morning, this control over something, their morning routine was smooth and lacked the usual struggles! What parent doesn’t want a smoother morning routine with their 3/4/5 year old? Crazy ones, that’s who. As a teacher I appreciated the parents that participated because when they had a good morning, WE (their kiddos and I) had a great morning as well! Everyone wins…So again I ask, Is this “normal”? Who cares? What does it matter? In my opinion it just doesn’t!
So ladies and gents, when you hear yourselves asking if you are normal, riddle me this….Normal to whom??? Normal compared to what??? If you can answer those two questions then the next thing I wonder is why does ANYONE else have a say in your “normal”? So I end this blog saying “The only normal in my life is a cycle on my washing machine”!!! Allow this to be your only normal too and you will feel a freedom that I believe everyone deserves!! Allow me to turn up the volume here… YOU DESERVE THIS FREEDOM!