the new normal

Normal is such an odd word - a weird, strange and foreign word. The dictionary has a definition for normal, of course, but there’s really no way to define it. We can’t say what normal is, what it means or how it feels. We can’t, because it’s not consistent across time or place. Our world is constantly changing. Our cultures and communities are constantly changing. In a way, change should make normal irrelevant, because the very notion of normal implies a state that is standard, usual or expected - which change would impede. 

Becoming a father, and particularly having a child with what many call "differences", has helped me to challenge the concept of normal in my own mind. The changes June and Laurel have brought to my life have helped me overcome a subconscious attachment to normality and to see beyond it. Not only can normality not exist in a world of change, but it should not exist in this world at all - because normality is dangerous. Normality perpetuates categorization, discrimination and exclusion. It keeps us in the cages and containers we think we should stay in.

When the girls were born my life changed in many ways. At first, it seemed as if there would be what many in our society refer to as a "new normal," for me and my family. But when I began to dissect all of the monsters and make believes of parenthood and I watched life unfold in a different way than I expected, normal became a more aged concept to me. When my girls were born, there really was no new normal for me and my family. It seemed as if there was something different - something so magically and wonderfully different.

As time has passed, I have realized that there isn't anything normal about my life anymore and, really, that there isn't anything different either. When we let go of "normality," we also inherently let go of "differences." Our world is all a cycle of the same elements: A river moves into a waterfall and back into a river. In this world there are no handicaps, no deficiencies, no prejudice, no judgement. Normality and differences are ghosts of the past.