Friday, February 25, 2011

What is Normal anyway?

Kitty sails too, originally uploaded by CidnieC.
Maura informed me yesterday that she wished we were a normal family. When pressed, it seems that not one of her friends have parents who plan on sailing to who knows where. Not one of her friends have parents who ask them to do chores and help out on big projects. No one she knows is planning on homeschooling so they can travel as a family. No one she knows pulls out a globe and says "all the blue parts are like a highway. Where would you like to go"?

I asked Maura if she really, really understood what was considered normal. When she asked me to elaborate, I told her that normal was for both parents to spend 50-60 hours a week commuting and working. Normal is living in a gated community where you do not speak to your neighbors. Normal is shuttling your children to soccer, karate, music all instructed by people other than your parents. Normal is seeing your family for maybe an occasional dinner, then all going your own way. Normal is working for 45 years to afford that gated community, after which you retire to live in another gated community until you die. She then reconsidered and then decided that being in a "weird" family might just be ok.

Rather than think of ourselves as weirdos, I prefer to glamorize our tendency to do things in our own, unique way and call us "Rugged Individuals". Kitty is already showing signs of fitting in perfectly. At 10 months, she walks. Not upright on two feet as tiny feet do not provide the most stability. No, our little rugged individual has decided that walking on your knees provides a more stable base while allowing you to be upright.She does this at home, outside on grass, the boat, even concrete. Its hell on her clothes and I fear she might be arthritic by age 3 but despite my attempts to coax her up on her feet, she just continues to do things in her own unique way.
Yep. She fits right in.


  1. inDEED! Normal is for wusses. Dare to be weird, that's what I say!

  2. Pass the spoon, I am going to eat that baby. She is delicious!
    "all the blue parts are like a highway. Where would you like to go"? there is not enough love for this idea. and for this whole post. And by the way I love the new look!

  3. HEehee, your Kitty cracks me up. "Marching" to the beat of her own drum she is! OH, and Maura will greatly appreciate your "weirdness" one day!

  4. Separated at birth. I'm serious. I have used that exact line, but with maps, not globes. And I have also done the "This is a day in the life of a typical family... we can do that if you want..." I am normally met with looks of complete horror.

  5. We were just talking about this sort of thing yesterday, thanks for putting it all into perspective. No matter what the experiences, some good some bad, what's most important is we're doing it all together as a family. I love that this lifestyle will afford us such an amazing luxury!

  6. I was noticing that knee walk in the dancing video - SO CUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I always wonder about "normal". I sometimes think maybe there's no such thing, I mean besides for the commuting statistics. Like maybe "normal" people are just better at hiding certain parts of themselves from the general public.

    Also, I want to leave on a boat after reading your post. Actually, even before reading your post I was just yesterday afternoon pining for the Boliver Ferry (Hey I'm not choosy!). Although at least we get in a few family dinners a week. I sure am tired of the taxi service to karate and play rehearsal though.

    Plenty of parents can't even WAIT to shuffle their kids here and there though, in the interest of having them occupied for a few hours. One time this woman asked me what summer camp I was going to sign Jared up for when he was five. I was like, "I'm not going to sign him up for summer camp." She was flabbergasted and asked me why not. I said because I wanted to spend time with him and she had to pick her jaw up off the pavement to ask me, "WHY?!?!?" It was crazy because she was friendly and nice and had even been a teacher, but she had no interest in spending the summer with her kids.

  7. Jill, that is so sad and exactly what I am talking about. Not the involved parents who take their kids to occasional classes for enrichment, but the ones who never spend any time with their kids at all and look for anyway to minimize their time together.

  8. Hi, i'm a new reader here, just wanted to tell you how adorable the baby is walking on her knees.

    Also, i really like your writing. We have just moved into a "normal" neighborhood after relocating with my "normal" job and i seriously HATE it! I was even considering signing my 7 year old up for some of these ridiculous classes (my boss' fam has at least 1 function/per night/kid) but then got a grip. I dont want to spend less time with my kid!

    Anyway, thanks for blogging, I enjoy reading!

    Jessica, sacramento CA

  9. First, Little Kitty is killer. You could always get a few million for that one. COuld anything be more adorable!

    Normal is so typical of normal people ain't it?