There are so many things I need to tell you about your son. The ways he has grown and matured, fallen and gotten up again are uncountable. There have been moments of greatness and failures that made me cringe.
The path I’ve taken with your son curves in a much different direction then it did 8 years ago. The turns became staircases and the levels we’ve reached have surpassed my wildest dreams.
All those nights you suffered in pain after his birth, the illness that wouldn’t allow you to nurse, and the baby who drained your last bit of energy with his nonstop crying was worth it. The day you peered through the nursery window of the ICU weeping in silence because you couldn’t hold your baby boy, those tears would become tears of joy.
The daily RED behavior reports from preschool no longer kill your soul. Your 4-year-old will cease to wonder why he never gets green. The kindergarten meltdown in which he couldn’t stop screaming and you were called to pick him up, that too will become a distant memory. Honestly, what would you do if you made it to blue for the first time, EVER? Then, one word muttered out of turn moved you down the colors of shame spectrum. The chance our B could’ve brought home a blue behavior chart to his Mami was shattered. The one day he could’ve shown us he was a “good” boy, was lost.
The whispered conversations of family members and strangers have faltered. They’ve stopped telling you to “get control of that boy.” Others are now amazed at who he is, what he creates and how he guides his siblings.
The day you received the phone call that your son had fallen off the monkey bars, you thought he jumped, didn’t you? That was the first thought to enter your mind. The teacher’s exasperated looks and the principal’s awkward smile after the team denied a special education plan, also had something to do with you. You told yourself he was different, but I know you’re insecure. You secretly wondered if you might have caused this.
For every step we’ve taken forward, I’ve left you further behind. I’m sorry that your son isn’t who he was when you first met him. I’m sorry that your hopes and dreams of motherhood have been smashed to pieces. But I had to break you to see our son. And the reason is so simple: he was never yours, or mine. He was always himself. As he embraces the power and quirkiness of his mind he lights a fire of learning and yearning in his heart. He also leaves his stressed-out, misjudged and well-intentioned mother behind. Out of your ashes, I came. I’m a crusading partner. I’m a shadow boxer. I’m a shit-stirrer. I’m a warrior. I’m tearing down everything you thought motherhood would be. The first rule of motherhood: Mothering has little to do with the woman who bore the child and everything to do with the child she bore.
If you’re parenting a child who is “different” know you’re not alone. October is ADHD Awareness month. Please share this story.