Grieving Normalcy

Grieving Normalcy

I do, you know. Grieve the long ago normalcy that flowed through my veins as I moved through my days, my life, unaware of the ease that surrounded me. Normal life with a husband, four children, crazy life, sleeplessness and juggling schedules but we were just one family in a sea of million and like most, we moved easily in this place of ignorance. It was before, those days of being normal and as much as I detest that word, it is as an apt description that I can cling to describe those days of unknown idyllic life. Life before we became a special needs family, days of innocence.

A normal life is what we had but it should not be confused with having been necessarily better, though it was simpler and easier. We found other problems back then to complain about though, laundry and parenting roles, and my thinking certainly indicates the old mantra, “the grass is always greener.” Wow, perhaps if I had been more cognizant of my wonderful life, I would be more devastated now. I’m not sure, but I know that I am still processing the many details that have traveled with our dear Amos. Details, zillions of them, now must be considered and add complexity to our days and weeks and months and rule our family schedule, holding us captive for a ransom we can not meet.

It’s not just the twice daily therapy visits or numerous doctors’ appointments over the last two years, but our assimilation into the world where we have always lived. We no longer fit as we once did and I am reminded again and again. Easter egg hunts, library story time, restaurants, soccer games, playgrounds, church are all family and child friendly places but no longer for us. Our two year old with special needs does not blend in easily as his siblings had and we often need a babysitter for just the casual outings that whole families flow easily into, though not our family.

Those days of ease and normalcy seem far away now and each time I step into the world, I am reminded of the loss that I never even knew I had been given. We no longer mesh with the community that embraces us. It is they that are welcoming and me that cowers in grief. I want so much for Amos to chase his peer group at the playground but he is happy to swing much of the time. Perhaps the rhythmic motion seems comforting and occasionally can ward off the tantrum that will demand our early exit, much to the chagrin of his siblings.

I stand most afternoons pushing him effortlessly as the world goes on around me, swinging him back and forth. Occasionally, he tires of swinging and makes his way to the sandbox and I am rewarded with a few minutes on the park bench and to talk freely with the friends whose own children move effortlessly in the world where Amos does not quite fit. I miss being a typical family. Would I trade him in for the old easiness of life? Certainly not. Do I think of what it was like and long for those days? Yes, I really do. Perhaps it can be a both and an even though.

I lament being regular and I love the beauty and depth Amos has added to our family, each and every one of us.The good old days hadn’t seemed all that spectacular in the moment and I don’t dare miss the lovely gift that leads me to the park each afternoon, daring me to chase him with rapturous giggles and reaching his arms for the swing. Perhaps Amos knows the secret of William Blake, “No bird soars too high that soars with his own wings.” Up to the sky and back to me, my darling son.

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