Friday, December 16, 2011


The other night, while I was knee deep in Mod Podge, fabric strips and scrapbooking paper Mr. Awesome walked into my craft room (the storage room under our basement stairs) and asked me this,

"Are you worried that this is our last week of normal for a long time?"

I looked up to see if he was joking. Normal?

We have a kid who literally climbs the wall, another one from the Planet Vulcan and living with the third is like riding an emotional roller coaster at break neck speeds, even our dog is slightly mental. I say that I'm a writer but the truth is I am a cook, housekeeper, chauffeur, event planner, errand runner and volunteer who gets to write occasionally. Our house is in a constant state of chaos and I am always on guard for the next emergency because just when I think I have everything under control someone wigs out and we are back, living in Crazyland.

So, normal?

"Yeah, kind of," I reply because I know what he means.

This craziness is our normal. Managing the kids schedules, my aspirations, Asperger's, PDD-NOS, ADHD, a chronic thumb-sucker while juggling family responsibilities and expectations is normal ... for us. We thrive on the busyness that Our Five has created and knowing that in less than a week a lot of that has to change is a little sad.

I've been slowly adjusting to a reduced schedule, less projects and volunteer hours, no school meetings and minimal extracurricular comments, but knowing that it all has to stop, full stop in just a few days is irritating. I love being busy, helping out and being involved; I don't like to be a spectator for anything. I'm a hands-on kind of gal. Not anymore. Not for now.

The surgical nurse called the other day to go over a few pre-op things and to see how I was coping with everything. I told her that the surgery doesn't scare me but I am really annoyed by the limitations of the recovery. She laughed a little and said,

"I knew you were going to be trouble! You need to wrap your head around a New Normal. This, the cancer and the surgery, is tough and no one chooses to go through this, but you have to understand that by being a good patient now you will return to your Regular Normal sooner. This New Normal is only for a short time; you won't be able to do everything and be everywhere for now and that's Normal. Just be patient and you'll get your life back."

What does she know, she's just a nurse! And then my pastor said the same thing. And so did his wife. And so did my friends. And then my mom chimed in. As did my aunt, my sister and my cousin. Then the principal and Dude's teachers and finally, daily, Mr. Awesome reminds me to take it easy.

So its a New Normal ... still with the same old wall-climbing-alien-emotional children and mental dog ... the new part is going to be, has to be, me; my contentment to live from the sidelines ... just for a little while. I will be a chaise lounge chair quarterback (no recliners here!).

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~M. Kathleen Casey

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