Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What is Normal?

I'm going to go all tenth-grade term paper on you and start this post out with a definition from our good friend Webster.

According to Webster's Dictionary, the word normal means conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern.  (Actually, there were about thirty definitions, but I'm not about to sit here and type them all out.)

Last week, Mike and I were at the local hardware store picking up a few things we needed (thank you, Mr. Snowplower Man, for knocking our mailbox twenty feet into our front yard) and we got to talking with one of the guys that work there.  As Anna was stumbling around amongst the watering cans and bags of fertilizer, he asked us, "So...are you ready for things to get back to normal?" and then sort of started chuckling to himself.  "Because, this is it.  This is the new normal, and it's never going back." 

His words have kind of stuck with me the past couple of days.  Not in the "Oh crap, my life is never going to be normal again" way, but more in the "Wow, it's amazing how fast something becomes normal" way.  Anna has only been in our lives a little over a year, and already our sense of normal has probably changed a hundred times.  For months and months it was completely normal for her to wake up every hour, and then, suddenly, our new normal includes ten straight hours of blissful slumber.  She used to be content sitting quietly in her playpen with a few toys to keep her occupied, now she's only happy if she's tearing around the house, leaving a path of destruction behind her and wreaking havoc on any attempts at straightening up I might make. 

In no time, a new normal will take over, and the one we know now will be a distant memory.  Someday, I will miss finding an entire roll of toilet paper unwound on the bathroom floor, or the entire contents of my sock drawer strewn about my bedroom.  To quote a super cheesy Darius Rucker song (that's Hootie, by the way - he's gone country, and just a little bit sappy): "It won't be like this for long. One day soon that little girl is gonna be all grown up and gone. Yeah, this phase is gonna fly by, so he's tryin' to hold on."

In conclusion (I started high school style, may as well finish that way, too), I would like to state that I know our girl is a long, long way from being grown up and gone. And while I am not always thrilled to find Anna elbow deep in the dogs' water bowl or surrounded by an entire package of baby wipes that she managed to open and pull out in the twenty seconds I wasn't looking, I am going to try to hold on to this normal for as long as I can.

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