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Friday, December 9, 2011

expectations of normal.......

.....I reject your "normal" and insert my own.

If there is one thing that can both bring me to belly grabbing laughter or tongue biting anger, it is the expectations people put on others.   The standards of normal or the boxed stereotypes we try to put people in.

No one in my little family fits in those boxes.  My normal doesn't look like yours.  My season in life, does not look like yours or any other 35 year old woman I know.

Most people who are the same age as the Mr and I are having babies, dealing with toddlers and are in that hard season where everything is in constant transition and you are just trying to figure out when and how to wear the wife hat, the mom hat or both and wondering where on earth you went and who is this current person who replaced you and doesn't get near enough sleep....and where did my waist go?

The Mr and I are both 35, have been married for 13 years, we have Wonderteen who is 15 (she was a part of the awesome package that is my Mr) and the Dude who is 10, soon to be 11. We typically relate to couples who are 10 or more years older than we are.  We are an odd mix.  The Mr is a tall, dark drink of water at 6'6 with a look that mingles Brad Pitt and Brendan Frasier in a pleasantly awesome way.  His stature and presence combined with standing next to a tall 15 year old make people assume he is older than he is.....well, that and the liberal streaks of silver in his hair, brought on by said 15 year old, that I personally find distinguished and kinda hot (he thinks I'm crazy).   If I'm caught alone, people think I'm in my late 20's by appearance and then when I talk they think I'm older, if I'm with Wonderteen they think she's my sister (she has 8 inches on me!) and when we are all together....people either assume I look much younger than I am or I must have been a teenage mom.    It's really all over the board.....apparently I'm confusing.   Which I find awesome.

Our kids are not average and don't fit into the stereotype for their age and gender either.  WT - she is confident, articulate and refuses to fit any stereotype or label.  She is her own kinda girl and has her own style that totally embraces being different.  She is outspoken and brash, a rule breaker and a rebel who refuses to let you see her cry but if anyone dare take advantage she will stand for truth and justice like a Mac Truck you do not want to mess with.  She is as messy and disorganized as the Dude is orderly.   Now the Dude....he is this sensitive, altruistic hero type who has no shame in dealing with emotion, shedding tears and telling it like it is.   Truth is all he is and rules are for following.  He doesn't have a deceptive bone in his body and he is so comfortable in his own skin that even with a speech challenge he will not hesitate to speak in front of a crowd.  He OWNS who he is.

My Mr, a semester of college under his belt but that's it, worked his way up into a good career in mortgage and has been known to be referred to as Sweden due to his ability to not take sides.  He is sensitive and intuitive, driven and strong with a faith people have referred to as being just as King Size as he is.  Quick to apologize with humility when he is wrong and assertive enough to address, with grace, when you are but just as wise to know when to overlook an offense.  Steady and dependable as an oak; gentle and sweet as a puppy.  And just as hilarious....maybe more, but not nearly as hairy.

Together we are this odd little family of conundrums.  We very purposefully set out to raise a family that is counter-cultural.  We don't want to fit in.  We live here on this earth but it's not our home.  In it but not OF it. There are some people that can't figure us out and they don't care because they just love us as we are with all our little surprises.  Then there are those who can't figure us out....and just must be the one who finds the cure.

Like the Dude's teachers.  Drives. Me. Batty.   Brings out the defensive momma bear who wants to just roar and swipe until they back off.   School is not a realm that comforts me.  Public school is like a whole other universe to me.  My elementary experience was in a one room school...less than 40 kids k-6.  Jesus was steeped into every aspect of my education.   My class materials and how we dealt with classmates.  It's how I deal with everything and I don't know how to speak the language these teachers use.

I feel ignorant.  Incapable.  Flat out stupid.  Which only angers the bear further....don't poke the bear.  Don't get me wrong, I know I'm not stupid.  I am very aware of my intelligence and have the tests to prove it, thank you very much (yes, I'm brilliant - no my grades didn't prove it, much to my mother's disappointment and my frustration that she now had proof of my brilliance and my laziness).  And now these people want to test my boy to see why he's different.  There is no proof or sign that there is anything wrong other than that he likes to take up their time.  He gets that from me.  His grades are great, his regular test scores show he is above average in every subject and is extremely smart.  So I don't get it.

He's annoying, so there must be something that needs fixing?  That's what I hear....as a mom.  They bring up little things and all I hear is a description of myself and as I smile, they look at me like I'm a nutbag.  That kinda makes me smile too....in all honesty. I usually sit there relishing that we've succeeded in a "yay he's not like the other kids" way and then I realize that we aren't there for a "your kid is so wonderful" talk...

I'm not in denial.  We are letting them go ahead and see if they can solve the riddle that is the Dude.  Frankly I'm expecting a scenario where they discover that he's a super genius and has already found the cure for cancer but they missed it because he was repeating himself and it was annoying (because he 'preseverates'....I had to look that word up...and I do it too....did you know spell check doesn't think its a real word?  Me either.).  Then they will humbly apologize and ask us to help them make sure he doesn't take over the world and use his power for evil.....which will make me smile smugly because they don't understand that he doesn't lie and is incapable of being deceptive or breaking rules so it is much more likely that he'll end up wearing tights and a cape and figuring out which area of the brain makes us capable of flight so he can more quickly arrive at locations where people need saving and because I'm his mom, I'll totally mock the tights and borrow the cape.  And  after I say I'm sorry for mocking his tights (because "it isn't nice to make fun of people, MOM"), he'll let me borrow the cape because he rocks and he will belly laugh until he cries watching me try to fly around in a cape which really isn't a whole outfit but he knows I wouldn't be caught dead in tights no matter what he says to try to convince me.........because he's a good boy and he loves his mom.

Blessings of delirium and hilarity for your weekend,
the Mrs.

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