I hate it when someone refers to me me as “not normal.” I absolutely detest it. There is no such thing as “normal” to me. We live in a world full of different people; diversity is one of the most beautiful traits of humanity.
I have seen different groups of people come together as a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, so I know that there is still beauty in the midst of the storm regardless of all the obvious hatred in recent events.
I often get asked whether or not life would be easier if I were “normal.” Normal is a matter of perceptions, and perceptions are subjective.
Would my life be easier if I weren’t a disabled mother? I don’t really know how to answer the question without taking offense. Life can be hard. I have seen mothers without disabilities struggle with certain issues that I will never have to face. Keep in mind, I am not saying that my life is easy, but I am saying that my struggles are just different.
Parenting is not for the fainthearted. Disabled for most of my life, I have had to learn to adapt. All parents have to modify their existence. Normalcy doesn’t exist for any family. Children alter lives in a beautiful way. The fact that I must parent on wheels only adds to the adventure.
Who decides what defines normal anyway? Life was never meant to be easy, it is meant to be lived. My challenges may be different than those of nondisabled parents, and they may be the same. We all pay bills, we all contend with paperwork, we all had to learn how to change a diaper. My life is no less normal than any other red-blooded adult in America. I just live it on wheels, and my son is thrilled by having a mom who can race with him. His life is enriched by his closeness to my disability. He is aware of compassion and tolerance, and is a bit more patient with me because mommy has to do things differently.
The conventional way of looking at normal is outdated and offensive at best. I am not asking for society to bend over backwards for me or my family. I am just asking for the same basic respect which should be given any human being, and for everyone to understand that as humans, we should be willing to advocate for each other. We should be more than willing to love our diversity, and embrace what makes us the same.
Normal is boring. Life isn’t meant to be boring.