In a past presidential campaign, Warren G. Harding promised his supporters a "return to normalcy"--the way life used to be. He coined the term, but the sentiment is as old as time, I suspect.
Over the last few weeks I've thought a lot about "normal".
What does it mean, anyway?
What exactly qualifies as a normal life, a normal wife, a normal workload, a normal child?
Though those answers elude me, I've concluded that, though we say we want to be extraordinary,
we really don't.
We want to be normal, whatever that is.
As parents of preschoolers, we declare with utter confidence
(forgetting for the moment that all four-year-olds are little sponges)
that our child surely must be gifted and obviously must be destined for greatness.
Only,most of the time we don't get greatness;
we get normal--
which was really what we wanted all along.
Normal mixture of joy and sorrow.
(Heavy on the joy, light on the sorrow.)
(though,truthfully, if he turns out a little smarter than the neighbor's kid, all the better).
This week, I have listened to a heart tear apart over an elusive desire to be "normal", and I wonder how grateful we ever think to be for our ordinary,
whatever that means.