The new normal

Conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected.
The usual, average, or typical state or condition.
adjective. regular – standard – ordinary – common – usual
noun. normality – normalcy – perpendicular

It’s hard to describe “normal” these days. Boys liking boys, girls liking girls, boys liking to dress like girls, * gay marriage legal in fourteen states, * first cousin marriages legal in twenty-one states.

In my own home normal is nearly impossible to identify. I climb in my bed most nights and snuggle not with my partner Doreen but with my eight year old low spectrum autistic son Cooper. Who can only really get comfortable in his own bed if all the conditions are right (temperature, feel of the sheets, lighting…) it’s a process of checks before determination is made. Is this normal? Many a morning I wake up next to my son and my clothes have soaked up overflow from the pull-up that has met it’s match at the bladder of my young man. Is this normal? Our oldest daughter Olivia carries around a menagerie of stuffed animals and a favorite blanket on my of her family adventures (the mall, the car wash, church…) without a doubt in her mind that this is perfectly normal. This is the same little girl who at six could knock back pills like a champion with years of experience having suffered from Bi-Polar disorder from the age of four. Is this normal? Our six year old daughter Ruby struggles with short term memory and reading & writing delays, but can make an incredible pot of coffee and will tend to most matters domestic… on her own terms. Normal? The kitten and the dog play fight, the bunny desires nothing more than to cuddle with the older dog. All very… normal?

I get on the train and make my very normal commute into NYC to work on a Broadway show, normal. Once at work I am plunged into a cultural hodgepodge of stage hands, wardrobe, hair, musicians, managers and artists; worlds never meant to meet, but in the world of the theatre must mingle because their worlds wrap tightly together to bring success. We have normal banter that would be to the horror of most Human Resource departments.

This every day life leaves me wondering about normal and how the statement “that’s just not normal” was ever created. So many strive to be normal, but I’d venture to say that their normal is impossible to find.

* Warning: all statistics are derived from the fount of all modern knowledge, Wikipedia.

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