What is normal?

Can you imagine being the only kid in your class with a step-dad? In today’s society probably not, but that is exactly the issue I faced everyday of my early childhood. I come from a time where normal was considered one set of parents staying married for all of eternity, having several children, the family pet, and of course the pristine white picket fence guarding a perfectly manicured lawn. Or so it seemed. My life however was far from the picture you just envisioned.

Growing up I was surrounded by step-parents, grandparents, step-grandparents, and siblings that where either a “half” or a “step”. Try explaining that to your toddler when they ask “why do I have so many grandmas?”. The question remains. What is normal?

The first half of my life I spent building up walls, and creating excuses to further prevent someone or anyone for that matter from loving me. Truth is, I didn’t love myself. My mind was already made up. Why get married only to end up on divorce? I had to reach the bottom, find myself completely alone, and only then could I realize how much I needed another person. I had to overcome my paralyzing fear of rejection, defeat, and heartbreak before I could allow someone to love me. Both of my biological parents had divorces under their belts, and both of my siblings as well. I told myself that If I ever found someone worth fighting with, and fighting for that would be it. The one, the only, my other half.

Since being at the bottom, I managed to successfully climb to the top. I’ve experienced more than most in a short time. I married my best friend, and gave birth to two perfect children. I try to accommodate each perspective in my parenting, that of my parents, my extra parents, and my siblings. I want my children to understand that there is no definitive term for “normal”, only that we make our lives as peaceful, calm, and beautiful as we possibly can.

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