Smile sincere enough to show your dimples


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. walk

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.


7 thoughts on “Smile sincere enough to show your dimples

  1. I actually watched Jason change a lot while he was getting worst. We didn’t know how to help him. He went from being this sunny little boy to this mean kid that I didn’t know how to control. Now on this medicine he’s been on for about two months I am finally seeing that smiling child come back out. He doesn’t like the typical thing that we expect him too but I’ve learned to appreciate that gleam in his eye he gets when he’s excited about something. Hopefully you will see that soon.

  2. Daria says:

    What a tough decision. I have no advice, just an ear and hugs. I do appreciate the reminder to make an effort to see my kids’ dimples though. That’s a great goal for any parent. I get too serious and focused on the “agenda” that sometimes it seems like *work* to have fun too. I am working on it this year. The visual of laughing until you see his dimples works for reminding me I want more of those belly laughs, not just the tepid smiles or a soft giggle.

    You’re a good mama. You’ll figure this out.

  3. Have you ever read this book? It’s all about 4 different personalities, the author is a friend of mine, and occasionally my coach too.

  4. I like what his teacher said to him. I have been struggling a little bit with moodiness in my son since our move and I think I am going to borrow this phrase next time he is being grumpy. That Headbanz game is a very funny game. I think the kids get a kick out of the fact that I finally don’t know something. šŸ˜‰

  5. It’s a tough trade-off. Are there any other options that may have lesser side-effects?

    Hugs to you, my friend.

  6. Susan says:

    We also love Headbanz in our house.

    Raising kids is really a hard job. You are warned it will be tough, but you have no idea until you are knee-deep in the trenches. All we can do as parents is love our kids and try our hardest. I know you are doing that with your little man. You are an amazing mom!

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