Wednesday, August 4, 2010

What is Normal... Exactly?

The word "normal" comes from the Latin roots that indicate "made according to the square" as in a carpenter's square.  So, you have this tool - it is inanimate and does not move... therefore it does not change.  Hence, you make something using it or according to it and you get... something square, right?  That's normal.  That follows the norm.  Makes sense.

But to say something is "not normal" or a person is "not normal" is to indicate that there is something "off" or "different" or "not quite right" with it/him/her.  You tracking?  I am "not normal" in that i can feel a UTI before it develops and can take steps to ward it off.  Never had a full-blown UTI in my life thanks to this "abnormality."  I am "not normal" because i have bunions on both feet and cannot shop for shoes in "normal" sizes or "normal" stores like the rest of the planet.  I get to spend way more money for this "abnormality," incidentally, than the average shoe-buyer spends.  I am "not normal" when it comes to my taste buds because God blessed me with an overdeveloped sense of taste combined with a texture sensitivity.

Last week, i caught a bit of Joyce Meyer on television while on vacation.  She was talking about the power of words.  I have heard it before; i get it.  There is inherent power in the spoken word.  Negativity breeds negativity; we know that.  But she specifically said, "be careful what you say about your children." and. i. was. crushed.

What have i done?  How many times have i said my children are "not normal" or "different" in some way?  Especially over the last few months as i have spent oodles of time and money researching Sensory Processing Disorder (a.k.a. Sensory Integration Disorder).  Oh.  Wow.  Darnit!

Well, i can't take it back, but i can start changing my vocabulary.  My children are not normal... but that is because the Carpenter Who made them doesn't use a "square" - He uses His heart, His hands, His eyes, His breath, and His Words.  The Potter Who created us began with a Thought, an Idea, and a Dream.

The power of the spoken word created this world, and it is the essence of each of us.  And we are NOT square.  We are unique, colorful, quirky, and radiant.

I choose to embrace my differences, seek out the uniqueness in each of my children, and stop letting the word "normal" have so much sway in my life.  My children are exactly what God intended them to be... which, needless to say, is not a bunch of squares.


  1. Nicely said! My kids are all not normal either lol. I don't think any kids are normal really. I kind of like all their little quirks since that's what makes them them.

  2. Well put my wise friend! It's funny, I think I have the opposite problem. I am always saying that all of my kids act/are normal for their gender/age etc, even though they are all different and have different strengths and weaknesses that could classify them as abnormal.

  3. Well said!!! My DS also has Sensory Integration Disorder as well as Asperger's. We've recently moved to a new state, and a new school for him as well. All last year he didn't make one friend. I was so hurt for him. When we talked over this past summer about the upcoming school year (8th grade!) we talked about making friends. He told me, "I'm not social". THUD. My heart just sank. I KNOW I have uttered those words to others when describing him, but always thought it was never within earshot. I felt horrible about that and worried that I had forever changed his outlook on the social world. THANK YOU for reminding me that God not only made him just as he should be, but that each day I can encourage him and help him become the man that he is meant to be!