There is some mom out there right now raising a son with ADD who needs a little hope that God knows what He is doing, that the squirming can turn out for good….this blog’s for you.
Both the guys in my life are mega ADD, so I used to tuck the little guy in his bed, then crawl into bed with the big guy. To this day, I think I’ve died and gone to heaven when I get an eye-to-eye-complete-undivided-attention-conversation with either one. Usually they’ve got their head into something else either literally or figuratively – a computer, or car hood, or something – while “talking” to me. Oh honey, that blesses me more than I can say….
Yes, all of our chairs squeaked and swayed, recliners included, because our little guy could not sit still. No wood and glue joint could outlast his constant motion, up, down, back, forth, while twirling his fork, the salt shaker, you name it. Tonight we all got a good laugh out of those old times! We were at dinner (in another home) and I sat in a chair that squeaked and swayed, literally. My now grown son popped up to change chairs with me (a kind gesture), but I giggled as I asked if he really thought HE could keep a chair from squeaking. Really? That’d be the day . His girlfriend grinned in understanding. (Now she’s the one who reaches out her hand to gently remind him he’s tapping or jiggling….)
You can bet we spent a lot of OUR energy trying to constructively deplete HIS never ending energy. He was the baby who never napped. The wiggly one in church. We tried baseball. He just stood in his position for 2 + hours while we fried in the sun, after which the coaches returned him to us still fully charged. Well that defeated the whole purpose, so two seasons and baseball was O-U-T. Swimming was IN. Yeah, put that little rascal in the water and let him swim laps until his tongue hung out. But a winter of pneumonia froze us out. We all but sang Hallelujah when we realized he was made for soccer. Just watching him running around spending all that energy did my heart good.
I can’t tell you how to keep them in grade school, because sitting still was IMPOSSIBLE, so for awhile I taught our kids at home. He whittled while I read, or hung upside down while attempting to spell. (He’s bright, but he still can’t spell.) By sixth grade a half-day charter school opened nearby and in he went, barely surviving the four-ever long hours. Throw a reading disability into the mix and you have one unhappy camper. I think it’s safe to say there was NEVER a day of school he called “good”, so I quit asking. But wonder of all wonders he graduated high school with honors! We don’t know quite how that happened but we’re pretty sure he used the wit and charm Jesus gave him to compensate.
I CAN tell you this: children love him because his attention span is every bit as short as theirs! They climb all over him while he tells them Jesus stories, on 3 different continents. He’s working his way through school making big bucks as a waiter because multi-tasking is What He Does. He also does beautiful photography and video work because his constantly changing attention captures fleeting moments. And he’s the counselor-to-beat-all-counselors at summer camps. Every bit of his ADD works to his advantage – he can outlast, outwit any fellow they put under him, and the head staff don’t spare him the challenges. It takes one to know one. He’s the last to bed, first up, and wears them out in-between. You can be sure he has an endless selection of consequences for all the rule-breakers, having collected them first hand over his own inattentive life. It’s hilarious to hear him tell those stories — I laugh so hard I can’t breathe!
Currently he’s counting the semester hours until he’s Free From Classrooms for the rest of his life. To survive, he spends summers outdoors and beyond. Who knew he’d grow up to be a wilderness guide one summer and back pack across Africa for missions the next? Perfect fits. No need for table manners in either place, which is good, because we never nailed those. So “it’s all good” as they say. I could go on but you get my point: it’s pure delight to watch him shine after all those squeaks. Believe me when I say I needed God to reassure me it would be OK back then. I can’t praise God enough for knowing exactly what He was doing as He designed my little-now-big-ADD- guy! Sure, he doesn’t fit in a school desk or a church pew, but he fits in a lot of other places God wants him.
“We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
God’s says it’s going to be OK, mama. There are a lot of places your ADD fellow doesn’t fit right now, but know this: God has already prepared good works for him – and they are perfect fits. You’re going to love it.
Amazed, relieved, delighted!