Sunday, July 31, 2011

Seeking Normal

I feel like, over time, I've embraced the special needs life.  It has become who we are as a family.  We entered this strange community as soon as Samantha was born, and we cannot leave it.  We will always be a part of it, and it will always be a part of us.  And, that's ok with me.  At times, that seems so strange, so weird, that I embrace it like I do.  But, it was a clear decision that I made -- that I felt I needed to make. 

With that said, there are times when I seek "normal" -- I crave it.  Samantha just graduated from pre-school, and as ridiculous as I think pre-school graduation is, I think it's adorable!  I have seen preschool graduations on many of my friend's blogs, and it made me sad that Sammy's school didn't seem to have one.  There were no programs, no certificates.  She simply will move onto kindergarten in the Fall.  And that secretly made me so sad. 

The other day Samantha came home from school with this picture...

I can't tell you the joy it brought me.  First, because she's so dang cute.  But secondly, it fulfilled that part of me that wanted "normal," even if normal is ridiculous (at least in my opinion).  This picture, and it's just a picture, to me meant that my Sammy was having the same celebration of preschool as other kids her age.  It meant that she was moving on, graduating, to new adventures in her life.  And, that is something to be celebrated! 

I used to feel like these were conflicting feelings -- embracing our life while still desiring "normal."  But, I have realized that you can have both.  And it's ok to have both.  Wanting normal doesn't mean that I want Samantha to change.  That's really never been (at least in the past few years) what I want.  I just want her to have similar joys and experiences in life.  I want her to be treated the same, even if that's different.  Does that even make sense?  (sigh) 

Even if I can't articulate those thoughts, you got to admit that this picture is pretty cute and makes this mama pretty proud.  I love my little Sammy. 


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