Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The New Normal

Up to this point, I  have failed miserably at keeping up with this blog. I could throw out some shade and recount all the reasons why I haven't written, but in all reality, it doesn't matter. What matters is that I'm here, posting now. About the new normal...

Recently, I was asked to briefly describe the first 6 years of my life. I simply said happy. My mom didn't work, we spent most of our time with my mom's parents. My dad worked all the time, but was always around for important things. We vacationed, had family dinners with my aunt and uncle, BBQ's in my grandpa's garden-style backyard. By all accounts, my childhood was the epitome of "normal."

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines NORMAL as: usual or ordinary : not strange.

Yes, life was usual and ordinary. At least for me. At least based on made-for-TV-movies...

Then, it occurred to me, that might have been "normal" for our family, but it wasn't really "normal" by societal standards. But a lot of the children I grew up with lived very similar lives. I can only think of a handful of friends that watched their parents get divorced during elementary school, middle school, even. We had our own version of "normal."

Normal for children now is so different. Parents aren't married. Parents are divorced. Parents are the same sex. Parents are really their grandparents. Parents are raising children on their own. In each one of these cases, that is "normal" for those children. Because they likely don't know anything different. Children don't have siblings. Children have many siblings. Children have only 1 grandparent. Children don't see their grandparents. Children are molded by what is "normal" for them.

What is normal for me and my family now is very different than what was normal for me alone in the not-too-distant past. A "normal" Sunday in Los Angeles was spent recovering from an intense hang over, and cleaning up the party I'd had the night before. If I wasn't hungover, I was likely hanging out in Venice after having taught swim lessons in the morning. Normal today is Sunday dinner with my in-laws. My parents often join, too. My husband BBQ's, I help in the kitchen, and we all gather together around the table to eat.

6 years ago, if you had asked what "normal" was, I would have described something very different. But I must admit, I truly love The New Normal for my life.