Any mother knows that the most difficult thing to do is to watch your child struggle. Especially if there is absolutely nothing you can do to figure it out, or to help that child get to a better place. From the time my youngest son was a baby I could tell that he was different from his brother and sister. He was far more emotional. My sister and I have had long talks about this because she has a similar child. These children are both our sweetest and our most challenging.
For my son, ADHD isn’t the only issue. I try so hard to teach him that ADHD is not an obstacle. It is a gift. Yes, folks, I am telling you the truth! Having ADHD is an amazing gift. It confuses the rest of us, so we label it as a disability because it takes a different way to teach these kids, but the fact is that some of the worlds most amazing minds came from people labeled with ADD or ADHD, such as Albert Einstein, Frank Lloyd Wright, Emily Bronte, Jim Carey, Pete Rose, Ty Pennington, Nolan Ryan, Elvis Presley, Ben Franklin, Michael Phelps, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Henry Ford, Christopher Columbus, Bill Gates, Evil Knievel and his son Robbie along with both the Wright brothers (there is a genetic factor with ADHD), Robin Williams and even John F. Kennedy. These people are businessmen, inventors, writers, politicians, musicians, architects, and each one of them blazed a trail for others to try and follow. I believe the ADHD gave them fire, a spark not all of us have, but for a child, its sometimes too much to handle!
I have watched my son hit himself and call himself stupid because he couldn’t explain his emotions. I’m 36, and I still can’t explain all of my emotions! But this kid isn’t stupid. He learned to multiply in 5 minutes when he was in kindergarten, but I think I’ve told that story before, so I’ll save you from a repeat. I will just tell you that to see him struggle to find what he has to offer this world breaks me. This is the same child who has an amazing faith, who drew the picture of Jesus that brought me to tears. And I’ve learned so much from him. I had this perfect parenting plan, I did everything a certain way, and then he came along, and I had to scrap it, and start from scratch, and find a different way to communicate with this child.
His high level of frustration and his temperament have sometimes brought out the worst in me. I’ve found myself so frustrated I didn’t know where to turn or what to do. And adding more children to our mix that all have some similar challenges made it even harder, but we dug in and we kept fighting and we keep on working on it and yesterday, for the first time, I saw light in our tunnel. I don’t see the end of the tunnel, but I see light!
My son lost some of his hearing because of constant ear infections as a baby. Even with tubes, we constantly battled one infection after another and many times his ear drum ruptured. Because of his difficulties hearing, his speech suffered. Picture if you heard everything like you are under water, and that is what he heard in his formative years, so a lot of sounds are hard for him to make, especially vocalic “r”. I’ve had him in speech therapy from the get-go, and each year we have a meeting to discuss progress and such.
Many times those meetings have brought tears to my eyes. I have listened to how sad my child was, how he walked down the hall with his eyes on his feet and my heart would break because for the life of me I couldn’t seem to help him. I couldn’t cheer him up and bring him out and every time I saw that sadness welling up I died a little more inside. I’ve gone through many tissues in those meetings. But yesterday, the principal said “I’ve noticed Tucker smiling in the hall,” and his teacher added “he laughs all the time in class!”
Be still my heart! That is first time I have ever been told that he is happy, that he smiles, that he laughs, and I cannot tell you the joy it brought to my heart. It tells me we are on the right track! It tells me that we’re gonna be okay. My sister-in-law left me with this thought this morning: “this is not the world we are living for…so we are CALLED to endure difficulties. And are being refined in all our ways.”
I know, He never promised us a Rose Garden, but there’s just nothing as wonderful as seeing your little flowers bloom!
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