Tuesday, December 18, 2012

those 'normal' kids.

i was at the grocery store the other day, going about my day.  i had my big and little with me.  i was wearing little in a sling, and big was pushing a child size grocery cart (erratically).  and i noticed another mom and two kids.  her oldest was walking along with her, and her youngest looked to be around the same age as our little, and was just sitting in the cart babbling away, and eating a snack.
i kept trying not to stare, but i was having a hard time.  i just immediately felt that twinge of sorrow for her family.  'it must be so hard' i thought, 'to be dealing with two 'normal' children.'  i'm pretty sure 'normal' isn't the politically correct term here, but i can't keep up with normal parents and all their pc request to not call their kids one thing or the other.  and anyway, i don't really mean anything by 'normal.'  it's just a word.  it's not like i would use it to make fun of their kid or anything.
i wondered what her life was like.  how did she have the strength to get out of bed every morning?  i wondered what she had done that caused her to end up with normal kids?  did she take all of her prenatal vitamins?  and go to all her prenatal check-ups?  i mean i know these things just happen sometimes, but usually, there is a reason that kids turn out to be normal, even if nobody wants to talk about it.
it must be so hard for her to have kids who reach milestones, and bypass them without ever having to think about it.  i mean, i imagine she didn't even notice the first day her children were able to hold their heads up well by themselves.  that has to be so hard.  she didn't even know about the amount of muscle strength it takes for a child to hold their head up on their own.
i wondered if she had thought about the future?  did she know that one day her kids were likely going to grow up and move out?  probably get married?  maybe even have kids of their own?  i don't know how families can handle that sort of thing.  what if one of them moves to seattle, the other to new york, and they are stuck in the midwest?  that  has to be hard on not only her, but the sibling relationship.  and if she has any more kids, they will just add to that.  i would imagine that she has to lie in bed at night just thinking about it and worrying.
and those kids.  those poor kids.  how hard it must be for them day in and day out.  they probably don't even understand most of what's going on around them.  they don't realize that there are children who are having surgery, cancer, or spending months on end in hospitals.  they have no idea that some children use walkers and wheel chairs, hearing aids and g-tubes.  i just can't help but feel sorry for them.  will they even know how to be compassionate if all they ever experience is normal?  i don't even feel like their parents could explain it to them because they just can't understand anything that big.
and so, i smiled a knowing smile at her.  one filled with pity for her plot in life.  she got pregnant, and had two normal babies, who met normal milestones, eat normal food, and live normal lives.  i just can't imagine what her life must be like day in and day out.  but, i do resist actually telling her how sorry i am for her.

this post is satire.  if you are not sure what satire is, please go here, and then come back and re-read.  if you understand it, but get through this post, and feel angry, well, chalk it up to me being the mom of two kiddos with special needs, that were adopted, and this being my outlet for my life.
however, i have wanted, for quite some time, to flip the scenario a little bit for people.  i can't tell you the number of pity smiles i get.  it makes me want to leap up and announce, 'we're fine.  we're all fine here.  we love our lives.  we love our children.  they are happy.  they aren't burdens.  they aren't suffering.'  instead i look away to avoid the smile.  feel free to share this, respond to it, or write kind and loving constructive criticism. (i have a sensitive heart).


  1. I don't like the pain that has come with the path of cancer, however the richness of day to day life, the joy in the ordinary surpasses "normal kids" exceedingly!
    Rosemary Kirby

  2. I totally understand where you're coming from! Today my peanut is in the hospital after surgery yesterday. And in a children's hospital with lots of sick kiddos, I still get the "wow, I feel bad for you smile".

    Like you said, our lives are great! We're happy! And thanks to the journey NF has presented us, we are better and more compassionate people!

    I love your post! And I love your point!

  3. Are you sure that you are actually getting pity smiles? Maybe they are "Your-kids-are-so-freakin'-cute-I-want-to-squeeze-them" smiles. They are cute kids, you know. :) In my experience people show pity by looking away and trying to look anywhere other than the one they are pitying.

  4. I so get it..I am momma to 3 treasures all with Down Syndrome..one of my littles has a g-tube, portable o2 tank, and wheelchair..I especially love when "normal" kids come over to ask questions about my little with the tubes everywhere and the momma's will whisk them away as if their child can catch what my kiddos have..or maybe it is because they are so gosh darn cute : ) Love my littles and proud and blessed to be their momma!!