Thursday, September 9, 2010

What is Normal?

In one of the classes I am taking for my masters, a professor told us that in counseling it probably isn't the best to use the word "normal".  I remember thinking it a bit extreme and oversensitive.  My opinion hasn't changed, mostly because I have come to realize that normal is so relative and is unique to every individual and situation.

I ran into a friend in the store the other day who asked how things were.  I told her that we were trying to re-learn how to parent a newborn after 7 years on the bench.  She laughed and said, "Trying to adjust to the new normal?"  She hit it on the head, that is exactly what we are doing, and it has nothing to do with Alea's Down syndrome.  It has everything to do with, "Holy cow I don't remember this stuff being so exhausting".

Those who know me, know that I am a thinker.  I always have something in my mind I am churning.  I admit, I tend to over think things quite often.  I have thought about what she said to me on Saturday through today, almost a week later.  Isn't it normal to be adjusting to a new normal?  Aren't we all trying to adjust to a new normal?  If we aren't, shouldn't we?  I see life as a constant effort to better yourself with change.  A video game of sorts, where no matter how good you get at the level you are on, there is always the next level.  LOL, seems kind of silly that after all that thinking I came to that conclusion.  Oh well, you all know I am anything but normal.

So enough of the deep thoughts with Jack Handy, how about the good stuff, an Alea update.  She is so cute.  You really should schedule to come meet her.  We have been spoiled by friends and neighbors.  One of the worries I had/have is, due to the diagnosis and hospital stay, the newness and excitement of having a new baby would get lost somewhere in the shuffle.  That has not been the case, in fact quite the opposite.  We are so glad that our family and friends are so anxious to come and meet our little angel.

I learn more and more about DS everyday.  I had no idea that they are so fragile, and their health is always a concern.  There are so many things I could be worrying about as I read others blogs or articles about the syndrome.  It can get a little overwhelming, but I can't seem to go there for some reason.  I am just grateful she is here.  After we lost Austin, people would always ask if I wanted a boy.  My truthful answer was always the same, "I just want it to be healthy".  For the most part that is what we got.  Of course there is the hypertension and the worry and dangers that surround that, but she is home.  She is eating good, nursing in fact, which I have heard is sometimes a challenge for babies who have Down syndrome.  She would be our best sleeper if the dr. wasn't asking us to wake her up at least after 5 hours to feed her.  Did I mention how cute she is?

Sometimes the thoughts above cause a little guilt.  Am I hoping that her case is minor, or am I wishing she just didn't have it?  Am I hoping that she is a healthier than a 'normal' kid with Down syndrome?  Interesting questions indeed.  Do I wish she didn't have it?  That is a tricky one I guess.  Would things be easier for her if she didn't?  Absolutely!  But after a month with her, I guess it seems 'normal' that she has it, so no sense wishing for something that isn't or never will be (at least in this life).  I have come to the conclusion that I am just like any 'normal' parent.  I want the best for my daughter.  As with all of our children, we want what is best for them and want them to do their best.  That is sufficient for me, and Alea will be no different.  I guess that means, she is normal.


  1. Love your new blog. What great insights. I am jealous my parents got to see her before JJ and I, but I am sure we will be back in town soon and will have to stop by to meet the newest addition to the Garner Family!!

  2. I loved reading your blog! I'm so glad that you are enjoying Alea and that she is home with you. I feel like our stories started out so similar. It really changes your life...and it's for the better. We love our Averi and wouldn't change her for the world!

  3. I loved hearing you keep saying how cute Alea is - MORE PHOTOS! I know she is changing daily so we want to witness it too:) We love you!

  4. I would say that you and your family are on the upper end of normal! What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it with us. We sure can't wait to see you all again. We love you. Mom and Dad

  5. I just wanted to stop by, and thank you for the sweet comment left on my blog. Sometimes it can be so odd how loss brings people together. But there's definitely a level of comfort in that. So thank you for reading my ramblings!

    And I got to read what you've posted so far on this one. I wish you all the best with your sweet little girl, and look forward to reading more.


  6. Thanks for the blog and the posts. I'm excited to meet Alea sometime and you guys are seriously an amazing family. Thanks for everything.

  7. Beautiful post - my eyes are filled with tears - thanks for taking the time to share with us...