Monthly Archives: January 2011
Having a child with ADHD is a difficult journey. From the time you get that official diagnosis, your whole world changes. Now, don’t get me wrong, in the grand scheme of things, a child with ADHD is quite tame in comparison to the myriad of other disabilities/diseases that are out there. However, I won’t downplay it anymore than that, because living with a loved one who has ADHD/ADD/ADHD with Oppositional Defiance Disorder or whatever other sidebar that gets tacked on to the diagnosis is extremely hard. Most children are not just solely ADHD, there typically is some other component that goes along with it, some have a Learning Disability with it, some may also suffer from some sort of depression or anxiety. Be sure that your doctor is thorough with you and answers all of your questions. I also want to take this time to make sure that you don’t just settle for your doctor telling you that your child needs to be medicated. Do your research and do it thoroughly. Putting your child on medication is NOT something you decide to do over the span of one office visit with your doctor.
I have two boys who have been diagnosed with ADHD and both were diagnosed at roughly the same age (about 7 years old). My oldest was officially diagnosed as having ADHD w/ODD (oppositional defiance disorder), however, I believe he has since outgrew the ODD, and quite frankly, this was never an issue for us. I would gander to say that he is probably ADHD/with a general anxiety disorder. We are in the process of trying to figure out if and when to treat the anxiety component of it as it seems as if it may be getting worse as he is getting older. My youngest was diagnosed just ADHD, this guy is the one I would say is definitely dealing a with some ODD issues.
When you are dealt with a hand of cards such as ours, you go through a range of emotions. When my oldest was a little boy, there was really nothing he could do wrong. He was an only child for about 3 years and I really had nothing to compare him to, so of course I had no real red flags at that juncture. I thought I was doing everything right, I breastfed him extensively and pumped my milk when he was in childcare, I co-slept and fed him mostly fresh food ( not jar food) when I could. I never let him *cry it out* for any reason and I wore him in a sling more times than I did not.
The time came when he entered a pre-school situation and I began to receive some subtle cues from his teachers about how he really did not respect other people’s personal space (what? he’s 4 years old for Christ sake!) and that he had a lack of focus (again, he’s 4 years old!). I never really thought hard about this, but more and more I’d get complaints on his behavior and honestly, some of it began leaking over into our home life too. I began to see subtle things such as him not respecting people’s personal space in terms of always needing to touch someone, whether while talking to them or walking past them and he was always very quick to push or shove someone (and believe me when I say none of this was ever in a mean way, it was just a way that he used to express himself) to gain their attention.
Once he entered Kindergarten, the rest of his behaviors began to come out, the not paying attention to details, fidgeting, not listening (again, there is that fine line with what is normal age appropriate behavior and what is above and beyond). His Kindergarten teacher and myself developed a cue where when I picked up him at the end of the day, she would give me a thumbs up or a thumbs down for what kind of day he had. It worked rather well and we knew when a conference would be needed based on our system. She was a lovely and wonderful teacher. It was not until he hit 1st grade that we knew it was time to test him and I thank his 1st grade teacher for being so incredibly supportive and understanding through that whole process. It was very hard for my husband and myself. I fought the system tooth and nail. “There is NOTHING wrong with MY child, he is just strong-willed!”
I mean I looked at him every day, that little red-head of his and those little freckles and chubby cheeks. He was truly beautiful in every way and I loved him no matter what. I will NOT conform him to what people thinks he should be, perhaps people need to make adjustments in what they think should be normal and acceptable!
We got the diagnosis and it of course was ADHD, I knew it deep down truth be told. I just didn’t have the heart to say it out loud and I surely did not want him labeled that. At this point he was beginning to suffer academic wise in class and we would have been incredibly selfish to try to allow him to continue on that path. It was not fair to him and it became very clear that he needed the extra support. The conversation then turned to medication. That..THAT I had a hard time coming to grips with. My child? On medication? Have you all gone mad??!! I WILL NOT put him on medication just so that it makes EVERYONE else feel better! I will NOT put him on medication just so that it makes it easier on YOU. My heart was aching and my stomach was churning. This sweet little boy that God has given me, why? How could God leave us to make such a decision? How can I come to terms with giving our child a pill every day so that he acts *normal* and can function *normal*..to what SOCIETY deems *normal*??!!
We fought about it.I fought myself about it. I fought anyone who would listen about it. Then I had to take a step back, a huge step back and look at this little boy in front of me and think that maybe, just maybe it might make HIM happier at the end of the day. I surely know he did NOT like behaving the way he did. There were many days where he would ask me “Why am I like this?” , “Why was I born this way?” How do you look your child in the face and give him an answer that would make him feel better? I’ll tell you how..you tell them that no matter what, NO MATTER WHAT, you will always love them, and that they were born special; Special in every way imaginable, and that God picks a very special set of parents that are capable of loving them regardless of the road that lies ahead. That they will never let them fall or feel alone, that they will be their biggest advocate and they will always be their soft place to land. That they will be an instrument in teaching others about patience and loving without boundaries, and what it truly means to live by the seat of your pants. Some of us can learn a lesson from a child who has ADHD..things are not always about getting things done precisely right or in the time frame you think they should and its okay to act wild and silly sometimes! To live without having to think about what is going to happen next! Children with ADHD are free spirits, don’t ever try to tame them..you will destroy who they are. Learn to live with them and accept them and love them for who they are and for what they may teach you. They are creative and talented and awesome story tellers! They have energy that surpasses all else! They laugh like there is no tomorrow and love as if you were the most important person in their world.
more to come later..
Fighting the Instrument
Often the instruments of change
are not kind or just
and the hardest openness
of all might be
to embrace the change
while not wasting your heart
fighting the instrument.
The storm is not as important
as the path it opens.
The mistreatment in one life
never as crucial as the clearing
it makes in your heart.
This is very difficult to accept.
The hammer or cruel one
is always short-lived
compared to the jewel
in the center of the stone.
It’s winter for Cripes sake! Stop complaining about the snow and ice! Is this not what Winter is supposed to do? If you don’t like it, then why live here? Mother Nature is doing what she is supposed to be doing. I suppose if it were warmer out or if we were having a mild winter, we would ACK! Start talking about Global Warming and the demise of our earth and how it’s all about to come to a screeching end!
I’m not so sure a run outside is in order for today. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve run in all sorts of weather before- wind, rain, blizzard, thunder,lightning, sweltering heat, bitterly cold etc..etc..however, the ice is a different story. There are die hards out there who will go out and run in this crap just to make a point- here this when I say- 1) good for you and 2)hope you don’t bust your ass and 3) if you DO bust your ass..your bad.
I have a treadmill for days just like today. I’m not a big treadmill person, but believe me when I say, it has earned it’s keep over the years. No matter what the weather, with a treadmill you really have no excuse to NOT run. The issue then becomes at what point during my day will I actually hop on that thing.
I guess I also need to finally pinpoint some races for this year. I have some things figured out and I know what my racing goals are, but I will not put any of that out there right now. Perhaps this may even be the first year that I don’t say too much at all about my racing.
Racing can be tough and it can be even tougher if you mix racing, running and friendship together..I’ve learned that the hard way.
I guess at the end of the day all I can do is lace up and run..
Eventually the wolf will outgrow the sheep’s costume.
Are you the wolf? Or are you the sheep? OR are you the wolf in the sheep’s costume?
I often stop. At the top that is. You have your crazy naysayers, who say that if you stop for more than *x* amount of minutes on a run then it really doesn’t count as a continuous run. Whatever, is what I say to that. Once you run to the top of this climb, how could you not stop? Once you get up there and you turn around and look at where you just came from, it kind of takes your breathe away. Open fields on both sides and a deafening silence that you don’t get just anywhere. No cars and no people. I tend to feel a little closer to the sky up here. Sometimes I sit down and take it all in. How could I not? I see hawks flying about and little bluebirds dancing in and out of the tall grasses.
On a windy day if you listen hard you can hear the gentle song of the wind blowing through the grass. The key is listening..most of the time we spend too much time talking..and not enough time listening.
Me with a daughter?! Who would have thought? I didn’t have the first clue about raising a little girl, after all, my relationship with my mother was..well..let’s not go there right now.
Oh boy, was I ever deathly sick with you when I was pregnant. Sick is an understatement! I was bed ridden for the first 5 months of my pregnancy and I hardly thought I would ever get better. I had a very intimate relationship with the hospital and the toilet for those first few months. People used to tell me that women tend to get sicker with girls than with boys, and all I could think of was, “Is this a peek into my future?”. A girl. How does one successfully raise a girl in this day and age?
Little girls can be difficult at best on some days. Little girls will test your mental fortitude and make you question yourself in every way possible on other days. Little girls are subject to mood changes at any given time of the day or night, little girls will often leave you feeling like a deer caught in headlights, but mostly little girls will always let you know where you stand in their lives at any given moment. If they are talking to you, relish it, drink it up and hold onto that moment in time, because at the drop of a pin, that could all change from one moment to the next. Some mornings when you wake up, it takes me a minute to figure out if I should say good-morning or anything at all.
My little girl is gorgeous. Deep dark eyes and deep dark long flowing hair. Porcelain skin and strong facial features with a deep set dimple right in the center of her chin. I look at her and I see myself, I see myself in her mannerisms and unfortunately I see me in her many mood swings! She definitely is her mother’s child. My poor husband.
She loves to touch me, I often find her stroking my arm, or just running her hands down my legs if she is sitting next to me and I catch her staring at me a lot, I can’t help but wonder what is going through her head. She loves me, that is clear. She hates to see me upset and it terrifies her to see me crying or feeling sad. She cries when I cry. She is my clone. She is sensitive and moody and silly. She loves like something fierce and is very protective of those that she does love. She is sensitive and fragile, yet she is tough when she needs to be. She will tell you that she is angry with you, but what she really wants is for you to hold her and stroke her hair and tell her how much you love her.
I want to protect her and I want to be everything to her that my mother never was to me. I want her to always feel my love for her, I want her to grow up confident and strong, yet kind and empathetic. I want her to always feel secure in who she is and I want her to know that beauty is only skin deep. I want her to know that true beauty comes from deep inside and that she must always love herself for who she is on the inside and not on the outside. I want her to know that she is unique and wonderful and lovely. I want her to know that her laugh is contagious and her smile lights up whatever room she is in. That she is funny and witty and charming. That anyone who is a part of her life is very fortunate and lucky.
I don’t want her to waste her time on anyone that does not respect her and love her for who she is. I want her to always stand tall and never back down to what her convictions and beliefs are in her life. I want her to be a leader and not a follower. To always stand up for the little man when no one else will.
But most of all, I want her to never forget where she came from. We will always be her cheerleaders and we will always be here when she needs us. I want her to know how much I love her..I love her to the point that it makes my heart ache. When I close my eyes I will always smell the sweetness of her skin and see her smile in my mind. She will always be her mother and father’s baby girl.
When I found out I was pregnant with you, I nearly fell out of my chair. I thought of all the reasons why this couldn’t be. You certainly weren’t planned and honestly, I was not sure how we would pull it off. It took me hours to figure out how I would tell your father, and I was terrified. We already had two babies running around the house, and why, how could we possibly take care of another?
I should have known that God had other plans for us.
As time went on and we adjusted to the fact that we would once again be bringing a tiny baby into our chaotic world, I began to fantasize about you. What would you look like? Would you be a boy or a girl? But mostly, good Lord, how were we going to do it?!
My pregnancy was pretty uneventful and quite honestly it went by way too fast! I was so busy trying to care for your brother and sister, I hardly had time to focus on actually being pregnant (If I could go back, I would..trust me I would. I would relish every last kick from your little feet against my big belly). By the end of 9 months, I was more than ready for you to make your appearance! “Come out! You need to come out now!”
The day I met you for the first time, I was madly and crazy in love with you. You had deep dark eyes and a round little face. You looked up at me and all I could think of was, your mine and I love you. You nursed from me almost instantly and little did I know that that would be the first day of a 2 year long relationship, that I would miss once it was gone. That was our time, our quiet time where I could sit and stare into your thirsty little eyes and know that at that moment, I was meeting all your needs. At those moments, there was nobody else in the room except for me and you..you and your deep dark soulful eyes. Nobody else could claim that sort of connection to you, but me..your mother.
As time went on and you grew, your father and I fell more and more in love with you. You were such a handful, but anything that you did was quickly replaced by doting and kissing. I could hardly go back and remember how scared we were when we found out you were coming. How could you not have come into our lives? The thought of that seems so foreign to us now. You belong here, you always have..you were meant to be here with us.
You have a personality that is like no other. Your a Minnie me version of your daddy. All I have to do is close my eyes and listen to you and your off the cuff comments and know, that of course your your father’s child! I can look at you from across the table and see all of his features in your face..your father could never deny you! Nor would he want to, but the resemblance is so strong. He loves you..your his sunshine on a cloudy day and your his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
Your such a little man, where has the time gone? I hope the day never comes when you don’t lay in bed with me at night and tell me how much you love me. I’ll miss the times that you look into my eyes and say “Mommy, I love you so much”. When your sad or upset, you always seek me out, because you know that I will soothe your pain and take away your hurt. I will brush your soft cheek with my hand and tell you that it will be okay. I will hold you until that last tear falls and I will sit with you until you feel safe. You will always be my baby, always.
If there ever comes a day when you will have to take care of me..I will still look up at you and think..”Yes, he is my baby indeed”.
Seriously folks, is it too much to ask to pick up the phone and talk to someone? It seems as if the norm anymore is to just text someone. Where is the personality in that? Where is the human emotion in it? I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a texter,but I’m not a texter like some people I know.
Where do you draw the line? When did it become so hard to pick up the phone and actually talk to someone. Have we as a whole forgotten how to do that? If someone tells you they are having a bad day, or even tells you about something amazing that has happened to them in their life, why not just pick up the phone and call them? Where is the heart felt meaning in a text that says “I’m so sorry, what can I do for you?” or “Congratulations! I’m happy for you”. It took you all of 10 seconds to type that and there could not have been very much emotion in involved in that. I mean, is your life THAT busy that actually dialing my number is that far fetched?
Sometimes I get busy and texting is just easier. Sometimes I have so much going on that I’d much rather text you because it’s all I have time for, and well…calling you would take too much time and effort. There are times when I really don’t want to show any emotion at all and the mere thought of having to act like I care is too much to bear, because an actual phone conversation would mean..gasp..I’d actually have to talk to the other person on the phone and inject some sort of care to said person. Don’t get me wrong, I have my days where I love a good phone conversation, but then there are those days where the sound of my phone ringing sends me walking in the other direction. I know I know..Kettle meet pot.
Anyway, aside from ALL that, there are times when it just is necessary to pick up the phone and make a phone call.
Or have you forgotten my phone number?
I began thinking today as I took a long look at my oldest child.
I felt sad and scared all at the same time. I can hardly believe how fast time has gone. This child’s facial features has changed as well as his mannerisms. He is handsome and smart and such a gentleman. I stop to wonder if we as parents are raising him properly. IF we are teaching him all he needs to know about becoming a caring and loving adult. I look into his eyes and see all the changes that has taken place in these last few months. His voice is changing as well as his facial features. I look hard and try to figure out if he still looks like me, if he is still my baby. If he will always need me in the way he still needs me now. If he will still need me to tell him that everything will be okay, and that I love him. I’m terrified of the day that may all stop. I hope it never does, but..I know it will. I’d like to always be the most important woman in his life, but I realize, that maybe it won’t always be that way.
I want him to know that I love him, that he is smart and intelligent, funny and sweet, kind and loving. I want him to know that as long as he is always true to himself and kind to others, that he will go far in life. To always remember to say “Please and thank you”, to always remember to treat girls as though they are important and pretty in every way. To be respectable even when he does not want to be. To always tell the truth and to always be true to himself. I want him to remember that he is an awesome kid, and to not let anyone tell him otherwise.
But most of all, I want him to know that I love him. We love him. I want him to know that no matter how old he is, we will always be here for him. We will always be here to wipe away his tears and that your never to old to need your parents. When times get tough in his life, I want him to know that coming here, he will feel safe. I won’t always be able to protect him, but I will do my best to lighten some of life’s blows…