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Exceptional Circumstances

nor·mal ˈnôrməl/adjective

  1. conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected."it's quite normal for puppies to bolt their food"synonyms:usual, standard, ordinary, customary, conventional, habitual, accustomed, expected, wonted; More

  2. technical (of a line, ray, or other linear feature) intersecting a given line or surface at right angles.


  1. the usual, average, or typical state or condition."her temperature was above normal"

  2. technical a line at right angles to a given line or surface.

Before Nolan's birth the word normal didn't have much meaning to me, but when you have a child that isn't "normal," you quickly learn how overused that word is.

Within the first 24 hours of Nolan being born, I realized I hated the word normal. Along with words like deformity, abnormal, unusual, issues, bad, etc. They all just sounded so negative. But at this point, I still didn't know what words I liked.

It was no secret that he had a little ear and a skin tag on his cheek, but did that make him not "normal"? At first, I thought it did, but then I got connected with other people that didn't have "normal" children and realized normal is a relative term.

In the Microtia world - hearing aids, small ears, HFM, BAHA, RMA, etc. are all terms that are normal. But if I said them to you that might be part of your normal vocabulary.

In the congenital heart disease world - holes, echo, EKG, VSD, ASD, etc. are again all normal terms. But I bet many of you have never heard of them.

Over the last three months, I have been trying to find words that sounded right and felt good when I used them to describe Nolan's health conditions. Here are some that I began using: microtia, heart defects, little ear. That's it. Anything else still sounded negative to me.

Last week I was having lunch with a friend when she said, "it is amazing to me to see children with these exceptional circumstances." My eyes teared up. It was the first time in 3.5 months I heard someone describe my son as exceptional. I didn't have to tell her he was exceptional, she already knew.

That night I came home and began thinking more about the word normal. Is there even a normal? There might be a typical but there is no other child out there just like Nolan, and there is no other person out there just like me, and guess what? Yup - there is no other person out there just like you.

It was a freeing realization to have. If I were to stop striving to be "normal" how much happier would I be in my life? My family? My marriage? My friendships? My body image? My motivation?

I choose to believe that we all have exceptional circumstances and no two are the same. These are positive words I can get behind.

There is much more to life than normal.

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5 commentaires

Jani Forest-wyatt
Jani Forest-wyatt
08 sept. 2018

Loved this edition of your blog Laina! So happy to see Nolan your exceptional son looking so happy and awesome. Lots of love and hugs to you all.


Beautiful piece from a beautiful mom for her beautiful family. Pray for Nolan every day. Love you all!🙏🌈❤️


07 sept. 2018

I love your exceptional writing abilities! You Moore's are more amazing every day! Looking forward to living this journey with our family. Love to all!


I believe we all can define "normal" for our own lives. We have all taken a unique path to get to where we are. I feel lucky that The Moore's have been part of my journey; especially, Nolan. He's so cute! He just makes me smile and believe every day that all is possible. Thanks for sharing. Much love to you all.


Beautifully written with uplifting words. Each of us should strive to live joyfully through our exceptional circumstances - every day! Thank you!

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