"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." -- Henry David Thoreau
I hear a different drummer. Sometimes I think that I hear a different instrument! Sometimes it's cymbals, sometimes a triangle. Occasionally the beat and sound are similar to other's drums, but often the beat is different. Waltz-like when others are rocking out, disco when others cha-cha, march like while others ballet. Every now and then the beat of others drowns out mine and I dance along with them, although not quite in time. No one seems to notice when I'm slightly out of step. When my dance is different, then they notice--often they don't understand. It can't be explained. Need not be explained, simply accepted. Maybe it is accepted, but I'm too caught up in the rhythm to notice. I like my beat and my dance.
Take my views on children. While other mothers were crying into their tissues on the first day of school, I was smiling, waving and saying, "a few hours free, what shall I do?" My children were going to be home in a few hours, so why should I cry? Perhaps because of my unique experiences of motherhood I understood sooner that when normal things happen, it is good, it is to be celebrated and not mourned. Even though I do miss my oldest, she is growing up according to "plan". Teach her well, help her to do her best, and send her on her way to becoming independent with a few guiding words and helping hands along the way. This is the way of the "normal" world. I also have the other end of the spectrum, the child who will never leave, never be capable of self-care or true independence. Still, she needs to have some separation from me so she can realize her greatest potential. Here again, I am not like many of the other mothers I have encountered. I do not hover, micromanage. I ask only that others do nothing to hurt my child, and allow her to build a relationship with the world as best she can on her own terms, and help her along the way. The best I can do is to give those who are with her when I am not the information they need to keep her safe and healthy and happy. She also hears the beat of a different drum.