Thursday, September 27, 2007

A "Routine" Life

I heard the word "routine" a lot yesterday. In the doctor's office, from family members and fellow bloggers. I'll be honest: At first the word really bugged me.

"It's a routine procedure. What we're going to do, Tom and Annie, is take this here scalpel with the size #10 blade and make a a six-to-eight inch gash in the side of your one-month-old son. Then we're going to take these here rib spreaders and ever so gently ..."

Well, you get the picture. The "routine" I'm used to is my daughter's scraped knee, and that still breaks my heart.

But as I've been thinking about the word today, I think I've come to terms with it. "Life is hard," as my Dad often says. And it really is. Pain and grief and suffering, these are characteristics of the "routine" life. If you choose to love someone, you open yourself to hurt and to being wounded. Any day without suffering is outside of the norm - abnormal.

I'm thankful for being reawakened to the "routine" life. The alternative seems to be a dead life.


Leah said...

There are lots of words and phrases that bother me now that I never noticed before.

"Routine" (I haven't figured out an alternative for this one.)

"normal"- what is normal anyway? Are any of us "normal"? I prefer "typical".

"Retard". This is a word that stings the ears and burns the heart. How many ADULTS do you hear say, "Oh man..I'm such a retard". (or the shortened slag "tard") I've heard adults use the word jokingly with their own kids. In fact, my own sister uses it alot, along with "short bus" jokes.

Ok, I'm going to stop now before I write a whole other blog on your blog! LOL

Shannon **Gabi's Mom** said...

You are so right. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Shannon **Gabi's Mom** said...

Hey Tom, has anyone told you about the T21 Community Message Board? It's a wonderful place to brag about your little one, great support, and there are a lot of really smart and experienced people there. If you have a question, almost always someone knows the answer or has been through it. Anyhow the address is

Nicole said...

Hey Tom,
No routine it won't be...but better than that yes.

Here are some men who blog, the first is an incredible man who works in the field of disability and is now disabled himself. The 2nd and 3rd are Dads. The last, Jeff, is a good friend of ours, we met online and our families are now like true family. :) Ofcourse perhaps you have found them ALL by now...but just in case. ;)

Tom said...

Leah: Funny how things can change so quickly and I begin to notice things I never saw before.

Shannon: Thanks for the link; I'll check it out!

Nicole: Thanks for the links; I've got them on my blogroll.

Leticia said...

My 5 year old daughter Christina has Downs. One of the blessings of having these children, is they teach us to accept the difficulties, the crosses we are given every day with their example of heroic fortitude. When I see how hard Christy struggles to do things her sisters learned effortlessly, I am so humbled!
I'm a down syndrome mommy blogger, and will add your blog to my DS blogroll. You have a beautiful blog.

bella said...

I remember this word being used a lot before my own surgery. Routine. Meaning, what exactly? What is routine for the doctors is a once in a lifetime for the rest of us, if we are lucky.
And in my case it did not turn out to be routine at all. So what is that about?
I love what you wrote here about life being hard, the "norm". It just is. What we call disruptions to life IS life.
So, how then shall we live?

anne said...

Me again. And me, too.

I remember after Archie was born, realizing that now I really did understand what people mean when they say, "Life is hard."

During that time I came to intimately understand another phrase, too: "Life isn't fair."

I used to chant it to myself in my head all the time. I was always so tempted to yell out, "It's not fair!" So I'd quell that temptation with my internal utterance, "Life's not fair. Life's not fair."


Tom said...

Leticia: Thanks for stopping by and for sharing about Christina; look forward to reading your thoughts.

Isabel: "Routine" is such a relative word, isn't it? Glad to know someone else can relate.

Anne: Stinks, doesn't it (the hard life)? If only we lived in a world where eating cotton candy made you thinner, your car got newer and newer, and baldness was reserved for Eagle's and Britney Spears.