Goodbye Normal

Normal. 

Such a funny thing. 

When I say our life is not, I’ll hear back “Who really is normal?” or “What is normal?”. I get everyone is different but when it comes down it, there is a such thing as normal. In some ways we are normal, but in many ways not and haven’t been even before I knew it.

I never wanted my kids to be like everyone else. I want them to march to the beat of their own drums. Howl at the moon. Sing when they feel like it. Walk around barefoot. Roll down the hills.

Although, now that we’re different, and it’s not by choice I realize there is something to normal. There is ease. There is guidance. There is comfort.

Normal is something I now embarrassingly find myself aching for.  

Last Monday should have been Johnny’s first day of Kindergarten. Like many people we toiled and agonized about what to do about school. 

As I watched everyone else decide between in-person, virtual, homeschool, pods, etc once again the new normal didn’t have room for us. J won’t wear a mask all day, he won’t sit at a computer, I’m not enough to teach him, anyone not trained properly is not enough. 

Johnny’s been going to an autism therapy center with one on one therapist since June. We decided to opt out of kindergarten this year and keep him there.

The week before August 24th I had my husband take Johnny to buy some new clothes and picked a new backpack. J could care less about those things, but that’s what  is supposed to happen, right? I dropped him off at his center like I had been for the last few months. I made him take a picture in front of the office looking building in his new backpack no sign with a grade and a teacher. Then we walked to the door and said goodbye to normal.

 
Goodbye to classrooms.

Goodbye to recess.

Goodbye to birthday party invites.

Goodbye to the PTO and school fundraisers.

Goodbye to the safety of the guidance of the school system.

Goodbye to the security of following the way I knew as a child. The way everyone else knows.

Funny how I never wanted normal, but watching it slip away makes me sad, because now I’m in the unknown.

 

Johnny

My Johnny is sweet.

He is silly.

He is moody.

He is love.

He’s autistic.

He’s the best little boy.


Sometimes, I wish we could just hide from the world. The world is hard for everyone, but my guy has never truly been comfortable in it.

Of course, hiding isn’t an option.

I’ve come to find that all I can do is give my guy the best tools to navigate it, and give others the tools to understand him.

That’s why I am here, to teach the world about my Johnny.

The Water

Johnny has always loved the water.

When he was a newborn he was so fussy. Crying all the time, but as soon as I would put him in the baby bath he would kicked, laugh, and smile. An instant fix until he got out.

He was and is at home in the water.

So comfortable there.

Water is our happy place, but also our scary place.

J is attracted to water. He would walk right into the ocean if he could.

He’s tried.

He’ll stick his face in the water for long periods.

No fear.

He has to be watched at all times.

So funny how the place we have the most smiles, and some of the best memories, can also haunt us.