Thursday, March 29, 2012

Raising "normal" - the begining.

I have had several people tell me over the last few years that I should blog about my kids - the things they do - the things that come out of their mouth.  I have always wondered who would want to read about my boring life - I admit that my kids crack me up at times - but besides my kids I am the most boring person on the planet. . .

Well - for lent I gave up Facebook (for the most part - I admit I have gone on when it wasn't a Sunday here and there - but I always feel guilty about it).  Facebook is my addiction - I know it - so I thought it would be a great thing to give up.  Two weeks into lent I realized Facebook was more than just my addiction - it was my social life.

To make a really long story (that I had typed but just erased because I don't want to bore you all in the first post!) as short as possible - in my personal non computer life my best friend was my Grandma.  I could, and for most of my life did, tell her anything and everything.  She was never judgmental.  She was always loving and kind.  I always felt better after just talking to her.  The last few years Grandma's hearing wasn't what it used to be but I still gathered so much strength from just holding her hand.  I never had a lot of friends - never needed a lot friends - I always had Grandma.  Well - April 11, 2011 my beautiful Grandma passed away.

Then we moved from northern Michigan to Tampa, Florida.  All I have to say is that northern Michigan is nothing like Tampa (specifically FishHawk - the suburb we live in).  I really don't feel like I fit in here - I am who I am - it took me a long time to accept that I am not "normal" by Michigan standards - then we moved down here and as abnormal as I was in Michigan you could multiply it by 10 as to abnormal I feel down here.

So - I gave up Facebook - I only have one neighbor and a couple of parents at the twins VPK that I talk to - and my Grandma is gone.  Well, I don't want to sound pathetic but I am lonely and I need someone to talk to (and my husband works crazy long hours so I rarely have time to talk to him and really don't want to unload on him since his job keeps him busy.)  I need to unload my rants.  Thus the world wide web gets my written diarrhea. . .

Raising "normal" - where does that come from?  "Normal" - what the heck does that mean?  The web defines normal as "Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected."  I have never been normal - and I have hit a point in my life where I don't care if I an normal or not.  Then we go to my kids. . . so I am not normal - my husband would never be confused with being normal - and then we had four kids.  You can guess how normal our kids are. 

My oldest - Gabe - is in middle school this year and his drive to fit in is amazing.  I can't tell you how many times I have told him that normal is boring.  Everyone is messed up in the head in one way, shape, or form - some people just hide their messed up ness more than others.  Embrace your difference - you don't want to be normal. . . I don't want to be normal. . . .for the most part I don't want "normal" kids - I like who they are.

Add to this the fact that we life in FishHawk - and here 90% of the people you meet are "perfect" and "normal".  The public school has a uniform policy.  All the kids here are "yes sir" and "no sir" kids.  The kids go to school with perfect hair.  I think I am the only one in this area that has ever had acne.  The teeth are white and perfect.  All these pretty people with their pretty smiles.  All their "perfect" kids.  All the perfect yards.  They open their car doors to drop their kids off at school and their cars are perfectly clean - I am betting their houses are just as clean.  Then their is us.  My kids say what they think (I have told them, "If you don't have anything nice to say please don't say anything at all" but they say what they think.)  My youngest has been known to be profane at times.  I open my van door to drop the kids off and garbage falls out of the van.  Knock on my door and there is a good chance that at least one of my twins will be naked.  We have been known to blow things up in the back yard for fun.  My kids have seen poverty - the know that bad things happen everyday to great people - they know sadness - they know the world can be a cruel place.  My kids are creative and free thinking.  My house is NOT spotless and I live by the motto, "My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy."  We are what we are.

So here we are - in the middle of "Stepford" - living our lives the way we do - living around all this normal.  With that all I can say is what the hell is normal anyway and why would anyone strive to be "normal."  Most of these "normal" people I meet don't look all that happy.  Their kids don't look all that happy.  So here I will be raising my kids in this "normal" world - and doing my best to make them not feel abnormal.  I would prefer our crazy, profane, naked world any day to the "normal" world of perfection!


  1. Angel- You write so beautifully and from the heart. Please know that there are many non-normal Shadoffs just one state away. I hope you find your niche in Florida soon, I still feel like I am adapting to Georgia and it has been 8 and half years.

  2. Part of me blames it all on that "Shadoff Gene" - but I know my Abshire genes don't help much! I love non-normal people!

  3. Who decides what normal is? No one is normal behind closed doors. People put on hats that don't fit them just to have what they think is a semblance of normalcy. In reality all they are doing is conforming to some social standard that no one really lives up to, they just fake it. I love the things that make people unique and diverse. Those are the things that make them interesting and give them depth. You are uniquely you. No one else can be you. You have depth and character and beauty that belongs solely to you. I love the person you are!