January 10, 2013 by vlittle528
When I used to dream about being a mom, I knew I would be the kind that didn’t care about having a perfectly decorated house. I knew that I was going to prefer a refrigerator decorated with school papers, crafts hung in the playroom with a string and clothespins, and colorings covering my office. I didn’t realize my son would have these beloved items ALL OVER my house. As I sit here, I can see his large cardboard painting hung on a door handle, a paper racetrack with a car on my fireplace, a “family cake” on the back of the front door, and my special “surprise” Lego creations on the mantle…where I promised they would stay for at least two weeks. And this is only one room.
Since we have started the medication, my son has been doing FANTASTIC. He is able to focus at school and finish his work before class ends. His teacher has noticed a difference, we have noticed a difference, and my son just seems happier. It broke my heart how much I didn’t know was happening before all this happened. During the second week of being on the meds, I commented how proud I was that he didn’t have to bring home any work that day since he finished it in school. He looked at me and said “yeah, I’m not a homework loser anymore, mom!” My heart fell just hearing that word come out of his mouth, but it would get worse. I had to ask a few times for him to finally tell me what it was all about. He finally told me it was okay because his classmate already apologized to him and he already forgave him. It wasn’t just his classmate, though, it was his best friend. No wonder he was feeling so bad about himself.
Putting my son on medication wasn’t the end-all answer, though. I am finding more challenges every day. Like getting him to laugh and enjoy his life. His teacher said something before Christmas Break that has been sticking in my head since. She told him to “have fun and laugh hard enough to show his dimples.” She said she missed his dimples. So do I. During a recent family vacation, we actually had to purposely leave crafts and stuff at home. My son just gets too serious, he wants his crafts and colorings to be perfect. Not only that, but he will focus on them and think of nothing else until they are done. I brought science experiments since he enjoys those, but even that turned into a negative thing once he started trying to do more and more, getting frustrated that he couldn’t come up with an experiment that was “cool”. We went on hikes, but while the rest of us threw pine cones and giggled in the snow, our son was trying to determine which direction we were facing with his compass and looking for birds through his binoculars. I realize that for him, these things ARE enjoyable, but I just wanted to see him smile and laugh.
Even during family games, he is very serious. He is serious about the game, takes score, and is very thoughtful about his next move. But no giggling. Until we got to Headbanz. Then I finally saw that dimple. I have been making an effort in the past couple of days to see that again. I wrestled with him a bit today and tickled him even though he declared he hated it (hard to believe when is laughing so hard his dimples became craters!), and let him jump on me. Then we cuddled and watched some television together and just enjoyed one another.
I still don’t know which direction to go. I know that the medication is important for his schooling. I know that he can’t focus without it. I know that he feels a bit more confident with it. But I want my little man to be a kid. I want him to have fun and laugh. The problem with having a child on a medication like a stimulant is not knowing what is simply my sweet son’s personality versus what is his body’s reaction to what is in it.
What I really want, more than anything, is for my son to smile so sincerely that he shows those dimples.