I am weird.
I know those of you who know me are waiting for the rest of the revelation since you already know that. Nothing new.
Most days I feel myself quite normal though. Or at least close to the "norm". And then I run into a situation and it slaps me upside the head just how NOT NORMAL I am. (humpf ... hate it when people drag me out of my false reality).
What's prompted the journey this time?
I heard of a baby that was born. She was normal in every way. 10 toes, 10 fingers. Perfect. And it did nothing for me. Happy for the family of course.
On the same day, I heard of another baby girl who had been born with significant special needs. And my heart filled with love for her instantly.
It's been a year now and over the last year I watched these 2 babies grow and develop. Baby A hit all her milestones right on track. Baby B had to work for every single gain she made and still lags behind.
"Regular" babies are boring. There. I said it.
The triumph it takes to sit, to crawl, to self feed, to walk, to talk ... it's enormous for some kids. Getting to truly celebrate that is so amazing.
And lest you think I'm outta my mind and completely alone I dare to share a comparison.
When you or your spouse came home from work yesterday, did you cheer and celebrate and hug like there was no tomorrow or just the "usual" happy to see them again?
And what about those 33 Chilean miners who went home from work yesterday (by way of hospital first)? The whole world celebrated the obstacles they overcame! The amazing feat it to just to survive.
Ah-ha! Now you're getting it. The enormous odds and obstacles our kids with special needs overcome. The shear will to survive is an amazing feat.
And yet so many people don't "get" that. They look down on a kid with special needs. Feel sorry for them. Or mistreat them. Forget to celebrate them. Make them feel small.
Like just yesterday, a very nice, well intentioned person was speaking with Jacob about his recent biopsy and the results. He doesn't know her and she doesn't know him. But he was standing there talking to her, telling her what had happened and what was going to happen. I was very proud at how articulate he was, how well he was able to express himself. He has Asperger's (on the autistic scale) and therefore speaks in an unusual manner, often looks fidgety/nervous, won't do eye contact, etc. And she starts asking him, "Why are you so nervous??" At which point he GOT nervous. He thought he had done something wrong or something to disappoint her/me (his biggest fear). And it was at that moment that I realized, "Oh yeah, I forgot. I forgot that you don't see Jacob through the right lens."
Or today I was flipping through some pictures of my latest trip to China. I saw this baby with a huge cleft lip and I just think he is one of the cutest babies I've ever seen. His smile made me laugh. Because of this lip he can actually smile BIGGER than a child with a "regular" lip.
I think the past 12 years of my life have shaped me. I've been immersed in the world of special needs kids. I find them to be the most amazing people on the planet. And I forget ... the rest of the world doesn't see them that same way. And that is a shock to me.
So if you happen to see me blissfully happy in my version of reality, leave me there. I love it here. In a world where all children are celebrated.