A different kind of normal.

I don't really like the word normal.
To me, it typifies everything I never wanted to be. It is what everyone strives for, because if they aren't 'normal' then they are different.
People fear differences because they don't understand them, and often they use the excuse that societal pressure prevents them from accepting things which aren't normal.

So what am I talking about?

I would like to think that my children will grow up thinking outside the square. Ryley has a disability that prevents him from doing lot's of things, but it doesn't mean his life is null and void or that his life is not equal to anyone elses. He is able to do a million other things, often though, we just have to be creative, and we need to work harder as parents. Ryley needs to accept the help as well, and sometimes he really doesn't want his Mum sitting with him to help him participate in things.

Braeden is already a 'helper'. At the age of 15 months he already understands his big brother needs extra help. This is not something we have taught him, in fact, we would hate for him to think he has to take on that extra role, but he intrinsically knows that his body works better than Ryley's. Some of this is learned through observation, but Braeden already understands that although we strive for a sense of 'normality' in our household, we will always be the exception and this is a different kind of normal. Braeden needs to have his own life too. He needs to not miss out on opportunities. This is, partly, why he goes to childcare. So he can mix with kids his own age and have the social opportunities to make friends and become his own person. Kids needs to socialise and I am not a playgroup type of mother, so childcare is the next best thing in my opinion. Braeden feels important because he already is starting to develop his own identity and is discovering where he fits in the world.

How wonderful it was on the weekend to take both the boys up to Lake and to let them both just run where they wanted. Both David and I had to stay close in case one of them fell over, but we loved watching them both walking independently down the path. Yes, Ryley got annoyed that he couldn't see any cars; yes, Braeden wanted to destroy the lovely plants; but it felt like such a typical family outing! It has taken us 7 years and the arrival of Braeden to finally feel like we can stop hibernating! We may not have a 'normal' life. But it a wonderfully different kind of normal. One that I always hoped I would have!


  1. You are sounding like a philosopher, Anna! It is so wonderful that Ryley is walking and blossoming so much and Braeden too. You are right aBout the word 'normal' - but is anyone actually 'normal'? We all have our place in the world and contribute to it in our own unique way. Bothe Ryley and Braeden are busy doing that! Dad

  2. As the grandmother of these two wonderful boys, I couldn't be more proud! Ryley is a blessing for our family and has taught us what life is about.
    I am also in awe of the fantastic job Anna and David are doing as parents.
    So glad you have set up this blog again Anna.


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