Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. Albert Camus
So, there I am- prepping a lecture and an activity for my seniors- the ones taking Classroom Management- easily THE MOST IMPORTANT CLASS they’ll ever take. If they can’t control, manage, deal with a classroom full of children with different levels of ability and impulse controls, they can’t teach. Period.
And there it is- a paragraph describing how important recognition is for internal motivation. That when we provide external motivators for effort, we are not, in fact, taking away internal motivation- we are adding to it- if we recognize in the right balance.
We’ve been expending a tremendous amount of effort in appearing to be “normal” this past week… I had a friend visiting this weekend who looked at our weekly calendar and chuckled at how “typical” our calendar was for people with kids our age- a list of soccer practices, soccer games, gymnastics, volunteering at the school’s “Fall Fest” carnival… nothing “scary”, nothing that reflects the years and years of doctor appointments, therapies and medication trials that we’ve done. There is nothing on the schedule that reflects the weeks we did nothing, knowing that our kids were too stimulated, too tense, too… everything to do anything else other than get through a day. For this week, we have arrived at “normal”.
And even I know that “normal” is a myth- a state of being that very few people achieve, a state that most families of even “typical” children rarely achieve. But what this week does for us is provide a baseline, a rememberance of how things “should” be, a memory of how things “could” be.
What will get forgotten in the memory of “normal” is the cost of achieving it- the medication balances, the lack of sleep in finishing everything, the knowledge that there is a boundary that will end this. One of those boundaries, beyond illness or any unplanned event, is “Merry Turkoween” or the craziness that the holidays bring. The holidays that are starting on Saturday with the Georgia/Florida football game, followed by Halloween, followed by my annual conference, followed by Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas and its iron-clad traditions, followed by New Year’s. We may look like serene ducks, but underneath it all, we’re paddling like hell.
But for this week, we are in the bubble- the bubble of what we call “normal” but is really and truly so far from typical, the bubble that is set to burst upon us, but the bubble that defines who and what we are as a family.
I want to honor our bubble… and recognize the effort it took for us to get here- and the effort it will take to get back here.