We're in the car riding home from our trip to Philly, where we took a weirdly large number of pictures in front of a stuffed gorilla display. Playing on the DVD: Thomas the Tank, which has been on for an hour straight. Some might consider that a form of child abuse, but my kids can't get enough.
Suddenly Sabrina says, in an attempt at a British accent, "Thomas! You are late!"
Max, Dave and I crack up. She says it again, and then she's using that voice to say things like "Max likes purple!" and I am laughing so hard tears are coming out of my eyes and Max is hysterical with glee.
Then the kids get sucked back into the DVD, and it's quiet again. And I'm thinking, Oh. This is what it's like to be part of a normal family, everyone laughing together over a joke. This sort of thing is happening more now, as Max's comprehension grows, but it's still a relatively new phenomenon.
Yes, sometimes I still think about that normal, even though our family has its own normal. I don't feel pangs of sadness, just a little wistful. And curious. Envious, even, at times. Like when we're in a restaurant and Dave is feeding Max and my eyes wander over to other tables where families are chatting and stuffing their faces, able to enjoy their dinner without the concern of making sure their 8-year-old gets fed.
I wonder about thinking about normal. Haven't I evolved past that? Shouldn't I be evolved past that? When will these thoughts stop?
Maybe they won't stop, and I need to let them just ebb and flow without getting too caught up in them.
Maybe it's normal for any parent to occasionally wonder about a different normal.
Life would be so much less perplexing if we were a family of stuffed gorillas.