Normal (adj) – Conforming with, adhering to, or constituting a norm, standard, pattern, level, or type; typical
I am in a reflective mood today. I am not going to get deep or political, or confess my inner demons for that matter. It’s just that I have been presented with a situation recently that has made me question, what is normal? Define for me if you will a “normal” family?
I find myself in this predicament because H’s sister* – Emily – returned from Uni for the summer. Now, it’s not unusual for Em to come home for the odd weekend, but what H hasn’t been used to is Em coming home for long periods of time. This has obviously been very confusing for him. H was OK with it as first but over the last few weeks he has become quite possessive, repeatedly saying “it’s my Mummy”, and “it’s my Daddy”.
(To be honest he says it now to anyone willing to listen. In a queue at the chip shop last week he eye-balled the 50-year old man behind us announcing in a demonic voice that I was his Mummy, whilst flinging his arms around my neck and practically cutting off my windpipe in the process!)
You see, our family is what I would call “normal”. Em is his sister but I am not sure whether he knows what that means. I mean, a 19 year age gap is quite difficult to comprehend when your friends siblings are all similar in age. My husband and his ex-wife are still friendly. She and I get on well and it isn’t unusual for us to all spend time together. In fact we have even had nights in and meals together when hubby is in work. She and Em also take H on days out and she is as generous with her time as she is with her gifts. She adores him as much as the rest of us. And then lets move on to the grandparents. The example given to us came from my parents. My Mum and Dad divorced when I was 11 and yet remain on speaking terms and see each other regularly. Whilst away studying, I knew that I could ring one of them from a payphone and that they would pass a message on to the other so that I could save my 10p’s. Both are invited to Xmas dinner together, weddings, funerals and birthdays, even though my Dad has a partner. But being a teenager I found it easier to understand. How am I going to explain all of this to a toddler?
Is it in fact that referring to something as “normal” in this context is long past its sell by date? When we say “normal” what do we really mean?
Harry’s Honest Mummy x
* She is in fact his half-sister, but I don’t like that word as it implies she/he are half as important to each other. This couldn’t be further from the truth. He is her world.