“I’m Glad I’m ADHD”

ADHDOn the way to practice this morning, my son uttered these words to me:
“I’m glad I’m ADHD.”

I paused for a moment. I was trying hard to remain neutral in my tone and appearance, which was difficult because I was cheering and crying emphatically on the inside. I was feeling a mix of pride, fear, bewilderment, trepidation, success and failure all at once. But, this needed to be his moment, not mine. So I waited. I listened.

Had I succeeded in helping him see the advantages a hyper-aware mind and body can bring?

Had I failed in ensuring that his diagnosis would never be used as an excuse or a crutch?

Was he being facetious?

Was I being over-sensitive?

Yes. Yes to all. And to none.

He explained to me that he liked being able to notice changes in his classrooms. It helped him that he is able to remember details in stories they read. He enjoyed being able to talk with his teachers on expanded topics. He was finding the advantages. But, I didn’t do that. He did. He found them – in his time, in his way. And it’s just the beginning.

He told me that his ADHD is why he blurts out answers and talks over friends sometimes. But, not as much as he used to. Because he’s “learned to hold some stuff in – that’s what you have to do in groups.” He’s not making excuses, he’s making his own accommodations. And it’s only the start.

He stumbled over the uncomfortable parts when he forgets his coat at school or doesn’t have the right books for homework. He danced around the way we clash when the ‘crazies’ get ahold of him late in the evening and his fleeting focus leaves us grasping at missed opportunities. He remains blissfully blind to the disorderly mood swings that plague our time together. He is young and he’s come so far. It doesn’t all need to make sense now. There are so many changes ahead for him. There will always be changes.

Four words uttered in ironic randomness in the car.

Four words that held more truth and freedom than I ever expected.

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