Sometimes people don’t get it. They don’t mean to be insensitive or awkward at all but that’s what comes out.
My dad visited last Saturday evening. He’s the one who really, truly hoped I was a carrier that caused O’s deleted chromosome so that it might be traced back to him. He wanted a reason for his lifetime of weirdness.
Embrace it, Dad! I wanted to yell. Embrace the weirdness. We’re all weird in some way or another, just accept it and celebrate it.
Well, he was sorely disappointed when the tests came back that Tom and I both have normal chromosomes. Her deletion was a random, spontaneous act of nature. We’re lucky she, the embryo, survived past the tenth week of gestation let alone to birth and beyond.
Neither of my girls speak to my dad. That has nothing to do with O’s syndrome and everything to do with the fact that they’re both shy, and sort of stubborn, children. They’ll wave to him when he arrived and wave when he leaves.
They will, however, talk to me when he’s there. So that’s not weird at all.
Olivia was doing just that the other night. She was laying on my lap, talking to me as my dad sat off to the side of us, talking at me too. I was trying to keep up with both of their monologues and doing a crappy job.
Then he abruptly changed the subject from politics (for the record, I HATE politics.) He said something like, “To the uninformed observer, she’s completely normal, isn’t she?”
He nodded toward Olivia as he spoke.
First, I wanted to say to him, “Dude, she can HEAR you and she’s not stupid. She knows when people are talking about her.”
I didn’t say that. Instead, I replied to something Olivia had said to me, hoping she hadn’t taken in what he’d said.
Then, I said to my dad, “She’s actually perfectly normal, to me and to all observers. What I know that the casual, uninformed observer doesn’t know is that she’s not just normal, she’s a miracle.”
“Oh,” he replied. He took a deep breath, smiled and said, “I like the way you think.”
How else can I think? I mean, seriously? I think my child is amazing. I think they’re both amazing, even when they’re driving me nuts because they won’t talk to their grandfather or the librarian they see every week.
But honestly, I don’t care if they’re normal. Normal is overrated and like I said above, we should all embrace our weirdness. We should find what makes us unique and celebrate that.
Who ever wanted to be normal anyway?