Sunday, May 07, 2006

Whose Yardstick?

I had an interesting conversation today with a group of mom's. We were comparing family stories. I like to call these kind of comparison "disfunctional family feud" talks. We all have skeletons in our closets when it comes to our families. We can all bring out stories of how strange our families behave from time to time or circumstance to circumstance.

It got me to thinking about how we measure what is functional when it comes to families. Who decided what a normal family looked like anyway? Whose yardstick do we use to determine whether our family measures up or not?

I have two children with disabilities (Autism spectrum disorders). I know that to the world they can look very disabled at times. I think that because I understand how hard it can be to be judged unfairly by the outside world, I am very careful not to judge too harshly when I don't know the entire story about someone else's functionality on a daily basis. The behavior that I am seeing from that person may be the best that they can manage under the particular stress of the given situation.

It reminds me of the bookmarks I gave to the First Eucharist class today they had a picture of a bear that was being stitched together on them with the saying:

Be patient, God isn't through with me yet.
Wise words we should all heed. What an amazing world this would be if everyone was willing to give everyone else the benefit of the doubt.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Isn't that so true? I remember being in some 12 Step groups over the years for different things and there was always someone frustrated with the thought of others having a "normal" family and then speculating.."if there is such a thing as a normal family!"
So, what is "normal" or "typical?"