|Ella and Avery practicing some tummy time!|
What is normal? According to dictionary.com, normal is defined as conforming to the standard or the common type; usual; not abnormal; regular; natural.
A woman recently asked me if Avery was "normal". The question, I know was in regards to what we have dealt with in Ella's development. It still caught me off guard. I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I am sure the woman was not intending to insult or offend me. I politely responded to her saying, "both my girls are normal." She went on to sheepishly clarify herself saying, "but she's doing everything on time, right?" I again politely responded to her saying, "both my girls are doing great."
The conversation is stuck in my head. Yes, Avery is meeting her milestones on the more typical timeline. It's exciting and a totally different experience for Jason and Me. It is also something we are hyper aware of. Everything seems to come so much easier, tummy time, rolling, eating solid food. Avery's development has highlighted some of Ella's delays early on. I admit, sometimes I find myself sad that everything was so much harder for Ella.
Guidelines and milestones are important, but they don't define my children. Ella is healthy, happy and normal. Avery is too! They are also as individual as they come. Everyone has a different path in life. It may have taken Ella a little longer to walk, but she got there. Avery is going to do things her way too. They are sisters and it is easy to make comparisons. Sometimes they look alike. Sometimes Avery reminds me of baby Ella with her giggles. They are also very different too. For example, Avery sucks her thumb. Ella was happy with a pacifier. Ella wasn't a big eater. Avery LOVES her food and does not miss a bottle (not even at 2am).
|Avery enjoying/wearing her sweet potatoes!|
My conversation with that woman was just a reminder of what my "normal" really is. My normal is waking up for work at 3am, balancing being a mother of two, dealing with doctors, medications and shots, consoling a cranky baby in the car, spending my afternoons laughing with my girls, sharing a bowl of ice cream with Ella and Jason after a long day, and the list goes on and on. I LOVE my normal. I may have to answer questions like that woman's forever. I am okay with that. I hope that I can instill confidence in Ella and Avery as well, to give them the chance to proudly stand up for themselves and one another too. I want them to see the good in people and realize that there are lots of different kinds of "normal". I want them to LOVE their normal too.