Friday, October 3, 2014

Revelling in the Normal

Oliver and Henry, 2007

Both my sons have been chatterboxes all their lives until very recently. Oliver can still talk your ear off -- it's truly a stunning thing to feel one's ear curling up and falling to the ground in exhaustion -- but Henry has recently become more broody, more reticent, more dark, leading man to Oliver's ebullient boy. I know all of this is normal, and to tell you the truth, I revel in what's normal -- really revel in it, which might be one of the ambiguous perks of having a considerable chunk of my time consumed by what's not normal. Yeah, yeah -- what's normal? Nothing is normal, some of you might say, but I'm here to scream that some things are normal, and Henry's reluctance to share much of what's going on is perfectly reasonable for a teenager his age. In a couple of weeks, Henry will be taking his girlfriend to the homecoming dance, and last night I learned that when you ask a girl to the dance -- even your girlfriend -- you do something special. He walked to Trader Joe's and bought her a bunch of flowers, and this morning, I wrapped them in tissue, kissed him good-bye and called out how much I loved him when he left. I love you, too! he said, and thank god he still says that! I wondered all afternoon how he would present the flowers and what he would say, and since he isn't coming home until tonight, after the football game, I texted him. Here's our exchange:

And that's just how I revel.


  1. I'd say that for his age, y'all are communicating at an A plus level.
    Normal can be heaven, can't it?

  2. "Nothing is normal, some of you might say, but I'm here to scream that some things are normal". God, yes. I am so tired of the politically correct avoidance of that blessed word. **normal**

  3. That is endlessly sweet. Reminds me of my sons. Some of them will talk your ear off again after a few more years. Just sayin'. :)

  4. Drink in all the normal you can get!

  5. That is great - I have a 15 year old daughter on the spectrum and I also enjoy the fact that when I ask her how her day was she relies, "Dayish."
    Got to love the normal stuff.

  6. Wow, compared to my 15 year old son, Henry is positively verbose! At least he has the ability to talk to a girl. My son appears to be terrified of them, from what I can tell (but then, he tells met NOTHNG!) The text exchange was perfect. They are so good at one word answers, aren't they?

  7. I like his laid-back style; it is normal for his age, and how great that you accept and appreciate that. I remember missing those longer conversations when David got to the stage of turning inward, and trying to express an appropriate interest without prying. (He is back to being more communicative now, and I am enjoying that.)

  8. Hilarious. And yes, completely normal.

    Apparently the big ask is a thing now. At our school the kids do "prom-posals," which often involves the boy getting down on one knee to ask the girl to the dance. Or maybe he composes a poem or sings a song, performed publicly in front of the girl (who is pretty much compelled to say yes, but I'm told it's usually ironed out beforehand). I told a coworker of mine that it's a good thing such traditions didn't exist when I was in school, or I would NEVER have gone to the prom!

  9. I love it! The photo at the top is absolutely awesome, too. And if it weren't for texting, I swear my oldest and I wouldn't communicate much beyond me telling her what's for dinner. Thank God for that technology!



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