I am normal. Probably normal-er than you. I live on a normal street with regular neighbors and routine traffic. I reside in a normal house, with standard paint colors and beige carpet. I drive an ordinary car, reliable and clean. My kids, though spectacular to me, are probably pretty normal to everyone else. My husband, while in my opinion is the most handsome and intelligent of them all, has all of his normalness as well. I have no amazing history, no out-of-the-ordinary story that will astound you. I’m just me. I simply live my life.
In this day of blogging and everyone’s-business-is-everyone-else’s-business on social media, I find myself less than competitive on inspirational accounts. For me, everything is mostly similar day in and day out, pretty much the same thing over and over again. This is probably the point in which you expect me to pull some sort of rousing message that will, after all, be incredible and dumbfounding. But I’ll just tell you right now, it ain’t coming. I don’t have anything in my back pocket that proves that I am actually cool. I don’t secretly run a million dollar charity for poor children across the world. I don’t hand-make all of our clothing out of pesticide-free hemp fabric. Our home isn’t set up to convert our neighbor’s sewage into fuel that will supplement our monthly electricity bill. I don’t hold any secrets to the purpose of life and mommyhood. I am simply living my life.
I wake up each morning in flannel sheets to the sound of my husband’s alarm clock ringing out a local radio station. I sometimes do a work-out video with what are probably considered old fashioned techniques. But sometimes I don’t. I let myself bend and flex and feel okay about not having rock hard abs. My husband kisses us goodbye while I make breakfast for the kids. We get dressed, we tie our shoes and we head off to school. Are we rushed? No. Are we tired? No. Are we joyful? Yes, mostly.
Once the kids are at school I usually go for a walk, and if I’m lucky, sometimes a friend will join me. My friends make me happy. We talk about regular stuff. We don’t try to solve all of the problems of the world. We don’t try to patent our inventions (of which we have none). We just talk about life. And it is enough. It is, in fact, more than enough. It is perfectly, simply normal.
After school we usually just go home. Sometimes we have sports practice or dance lessons. But mostly we just go home. We don’t have to drive from place to place, filling our days with hustle and bustle. We are normal; I told you so. Are we busy and hurried? No. Are we peaceful and playful? Yes, usually.
For dinner I don’t milk our own cow. I don’t butcher our own farm raised, vegetarian-fed chicken. We have neither a farm nor cows and chickens. But I create something smart and fresh and it smells like home. With regular conversation we eat around our old oak table. We laugh. We aren’t anxious for the next thing on our schedule. We aren’t watching the clock with concern that we will miss our next appointment. We are just happy to be together. We live the moment.
At the end of the day my husband and I kiss our sweet kidlets goodnight and tuck them in. They are warm and peaceful, safe and calm. We stay up for a while, spending time together as husband and wife. We talk about our day, our plans and our lives; our very normal, yet beautiful lives. I’m not dressed to impress him. I’m wearing yoga pants and a sweatshirt that is too big even for him. I don’t have makeup on anymore; I was ready to wash that off as soon as dinner was over. I don’t have to shine for him, I simply do because I am me and he loves me just the way I am. Are we always full of fresh conversation? No. Are we wildly passionate about each other at each moment? Not at all. Are we at ease? Absolutely. And I know that the next day of my life will look much the same.
This isn’t to say that we aren’t involved, we are very involved. We work in marriage ministries at our local church. I volunteer in my children’s classrooms and on the school’s parent team. I serve as a board member for our neighborhood association. We love our community and we desire to enhance the lives of those around us. But I don’t let it get out of control. I have mastered the art of saying no. No to anything that will detract from the lives we want. The very normal, very sweet and sound lives that we have.
We delight in slow. We play soccer in our TV room and football in the backyard. We sing and dance and enjoy each other. We take pleasure in leisurely camping-trips. We take time to see the wilderness, to hear the wind and watch the stars. We ride bikes, we build campfires and we take it all in. We aren’t boring, we are different. We aren’t bored, we are contented.
Our schedules aren’t busy. Our lives aren’t rushed. Our days are (mostly) tranquil and composed. We don’t get caught up in the standard of busyness and overexertion. It is intentional. We choose this life. We don’t fill our every moment, we leave time to live. And live we do. We know each other, all of us. We take time to talk. We make room for rest. We listen and teach; we grow and tend to each other.
I am quite certain that when I am old and gray I won’t regret this choice. I don’t suspect that I will look back and wish that I would have signed my kids up for another lesson or event. I don’t think I will long for all of the fast food that we didn’t eat while we weren’t driving from one place to another. I’m confident that I will remember those days at the table, those nights in our camp chairs, and realize that normal was not a bad way to live. I think I will look back and say that I wouldn’t have traded it for anything out of the ordinary. We are simple. We are just naturally, wonderfully uncomplicated and normal. And perhaps normal, as it might turn out, is actually extraordinary.
Tracy lives in beautiful Central Oregon with her husband of fourteen years, Bradley, and their two kids, Noah and Gracie. She works at her children’s school teaching young readers and assisting the behavioral focus program. Tracy’s greatest passions are working with Bradley in marriage ministries, followed closely by photography and throwing fabulous parties. You can read Tracy’s blog at https://drippingorange.