Last week, I mentioned to an acquaintance that my son has ADHD.
Her response was, “Oh, I’m sorry.”
And my response was, “Don’t be, it’s a gift.”
My son is intellectually three or more steps ahead of me and most adults. It keeps us all sharp. That’s a gift.
My son’s sense of humor is years ahead of his age. His one-liners are ridiculous. And he’s charming as hell. We think maybe he’s the human embodiment of Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes. That’s a gift.
|My son can operate, fix, and utilize the electronic devices in this house better than anyone else in the family. And I’m in tech. I’m hoping I’m raising the kid who figures out how to stop SkyNet. At the very least, I’m fairly certain he’s managing off shore bank accounts from online gambling. I hope it’s all legal.|
(I’m kidding…I hope)
When my son was in kindergarten, I was doing two by two multiplication flashcards with my daughter who was in third grade accelerated math at the time. My son called out the answers before his sister could. Over his shoulder. While he watched TV. He still calls out answers off-handedly this way. That’s a gift.
My son rushes through exams and district assessments because he cannot stand the monotony of them. He entertains himself with the race to the end. And he aces them anyway. That’s a gift.
My son is bored in class, despite being in accelerated math and gifted and talented services. And it’s hard, and it sucks, and he’s restless. But he’s trying to stick it out for himself, his parents, and his teachers because he believes us when we say it’s important. That’s a gift.
My son tells me he’s bored, among other things. He communicates openly with me about how he feels and what he needs. And even though we’ve been told more than once “kids use ‘I’m bored’ as a go-to excuse.” He knows I trust him. And he trusts me. That’s a gift.
My son is mobile in class and struggles to stay on task with assignments. He provides himself impromptu breaks in the bathroom…entertaining himself by swinging on stall doors and climbing the walls. He says he knows when he just can’t take it anymore. That’s a gift.
Funny enough, my son doesn’t have problems with following directives or staying on task in PE. His PE teachers say he’s just like any other boy. That’s a gift.
When lunch is before recess, my son barely eats and stands while he nibbles. When recess is after lunch, he sits down, EATS and exchanges lively conversation with his friends. He soaks up physical exertion like a flower in the sun. That’s a gift.
My son will play outside for hours. The way I used to play. Up trees. On a bike. In mud.
He dug a hole in my backyard so deep that my husband and I have discussed whether we need to have the utility company come out and identify utility lines… or issue a construction permit. That’s a gift.
My son has little to no interest putting energy or time into things that don’t interest him. However, when he’s interested, he can solve, build, create, write or develop just about anything from beginning to end. AND FAST. He’s part of an elite group of creative thinking “get it done” people. Like Richard Branson, Albert Einstein, David Neeleman, Bill Gates, Stephen Spielberg, Jim Carey, JFK… the list goes on and on. That’s a gift.
…That’s actually my favorite gift. Adults want my son to fall in line with the status quo. He cannot. He. Can. Not. It makes his skin crawl. Man I wish I had never learned to be disciplined enough to do things I don’t enjoy for hours at a time…or for a living. It took me years to stop over achieving at the wrong things. My son won’t have this problem. That’s a gift.
My son is making me a better person. The kind of person who not only embraces diversity and individuality, but who advocates for it assertively. Pushing through people-pleasing and fear of conflict with diplomacy and strength. Oh, and he is definitely forcing the patient into me. That’s a gift.
I’m not bragging. Or maybe I am. There’s plenty of tough stuff too, but that’s material for another day. I just wanted to take a moment to celebrate my son’s greatness. To shed some light on why the world desperately needs children and adults with ADHD. Why we need to love them just as they are and not try to mold them into the average.
Because they are bringing gifts that we all get to open.