"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I use the joke often myself: “Normal is just a setting on the washing machine.”  But the reality is we as a society do have a large area we call “normal” when it comes to social behaviors.  Of course there are variations by region, by people/social groups and what not; but still-when you see someone who is outside the “normal”, you know it.  It may the red rooster hairdo, the clothes, the vehicle.  I don’t know, but I know you know what I am talking about! 

 Nope, we are not shooting for politically correct today :)

I would say that 7 out of my 8 kids fit into that “normal” category.  Most of the time of course; kids will be kids.  Some days are rough with them as well and their actions, some of the outfits they pick make me roll my eyes, but behaviorally anyways, they are pretty normal, and they look “normal.”

The 8th one would fit into the “normal” category is we were strictly going by pick him out of a photo normal.  And that, right there, is where so many parents of adoptive kids, traumatized kids, special needs kids get a lot of flak. 

“But he looks just like all the other kids.”   
“Oh, kids will be kids.”

Not only is this one a tough one to explain, it is very hard to deal with.  We joke sometimes that we wish the kid would put on his “hard day” sticker (ok, helmet) so it wouldn’t be so hard to handle his behaviors.  So when he is having a meltdown and transforms to a one year old rolling around on the floor, kicking his legs in the air like a baby, you could see the sticker and say-oh yeah, it’s a hard day; today he is not an 8 yr old. 
But alas, they don’t do that.  Sure, I know my child well enough to see when the day is going to be tough, and it is very tiring.  It is tiring to have to explain to anyone you may be with that day why you are doing things the way you are that day.  It is so hard when the day before he WAS a very “normal” 8 yr old playing with his friends.  Truthfully, I was actually a little relieved (?) when he had a meltdown before my parent’s anniversary party.  I honestly didn’t feel embarrassed or angry.  I was just glad that someone besides our household was able to see what we occasionally have to deal with.
And it is tough to not feel judged when you have to have these special parameters around your child, even on a “normal” day so that it doesn’t become an un-normal day.

I know-we all need a little grace each day; for our kids, for ourselves, maybe more importantly for others who don’t deal with the kind of “normal” you do.  No, maybe most important for OURSELVES-tired, frustrated, worn out moms and dads!  Parents—don’t worry about what others think of you (or you think they think!).  YOU know what is best for your child at any given day, time, place.  And it’s okay when you get tired and just need them to be in their special place so you can have some rest or spend some time with your other children (and spouse!!) who need you too.  And it’s okay that you fail sometimes.  Failure is a great opportunity to have “repair” and “redo” time.  Lots of healing can happen in those times.  Grace.  Grace for yourself today.

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