Enter, our pediatrician. Large white grin illuminated by deep dark skin, his Malaysian accent flavoring his greeting, “Good morning. How you doing?”
I smile and shake his familiar hand, the hand that has guided his stethoscope across the ivory chests of my three older children and now my baby. He begins his exam by measuring my son’s head and running his fingers across his scalp. “Head is lumpy and bumpy. This is to be considered normal,” he says.
Normal. It brings me peace. I want nothing more for my little one than to be “considered normal.” The well check continues and concludes within minutes. I leave the office with my precious bundle. Satisfied. Proud. He’s normal.
If only normal could be gauged by a measuring tape and the touch of a trusted hand in all areas of life.
We all seek normal, and survivors are no different. Yet their normal, the normal they deserved, was stolen. It’s as if their perpetrators grabbed their “normal glasses” and threw them to the floor, stomped on their lenses, breaking the glass, bending the frames, and leaving their victims scrambling to find normal.
I met with several survivors recently. We discussed normal.
“I feel this way,” one said.
“I feel that way,” said another.
“What’s normal?” We all asked with different words—same question.
And with no measuring tape we chose to trust. We chose to listen, and glue the pieces of lens in each other’s glasses back together, adjust each other’s frames, and seek normal together.
The healing journey for a survivor is long, but it doesn’t need to be lonely. If you haven’t found a trusted friend to discuss “normal,” keep trying. And by all means, join us here each week, where my friends and I will continue to discuss "normal."