January 13, 2021
First off, Happy New Year! It has been a minute since I have taken time to write about our journey with dyslexia. It has not been a matter of writers block, but more of a lack of enjoyment, really for anything at the moment. This time of year is the absolute worst. That span between the holidays and spring break. The days are short, the nights are cold and quite honestly, there is not a whole lot to do. The pandemic makes it even worse. We have closed ourselves off from friends and family in an effort to be protect each other and our loved ones. We do, on occasion, participate in outdoor activities. We are just like every other family. Restricted, worn down, and wondering when the end will ever be in sight.
Lately, has been rather difficult. Colton is particularly high strung, I don’t know if I have ever mentioned the ADHD diagnoses. As you research about dyslexia, you more often than not, will also find information pertaining to ADHD. I try to pretend it doesn’t exist and I honestly, I am really not sure why. I guess part of it is pride, part of it is fear of the medical world and educational world wanting me to medicate my son, part of it the fear of having “that kid”. All terrible, uneducated, ignorant excuses and really I do know better. Most times, I don’t see Colton as an ADHD kid. He does well in school, can sit down to watch a movie, and when interested, can keep his attention to task for long periods of time. The old timers refer to him as “all boy”. I personally don’t like to say that to him. I tell him that his beautiful, dyslexic brain makes him think differently than others and that often time causes him to have a lot of pent up energy, thoughts and emotions. His brain often has so many thoughts and ideas that it is difficult to keep up with him. (I refer to him as a feeler. He has BIG emotions. I mean BIG, huge emotions. If you know an adult or kid like this, you know exactly what I mean.)
However……lately the days have been exceptionally long and now it has turned into weeks, and in all honestly, it feels like an eternity. If you know any big feelers or big thinkers, especially if you are yourself a big feeler, this trait, while charming and extraordinary, is draining. This is where I see the ADHD. It smacks me in the face and sucker punches me right in the gut. WHAM! Adding to it all, we had a really rough holiday season. That span from Thanksgiving until Christmas was, honestly, the worst one we have had in years. The stress of the pandemic and how that would change things weighed on Colton’s mind day after day, night after night. While the pandemic has been a struggle for so many and in ways that are grief-strikingly painful, our experience has been a bit different. We have not lost any loved ones to COVID. We are not lacking food, shelter or any of the basic necessities. (I am no fool, I am grateful and blessed beyond words). The pandemic has been particularly difficult because Colton (and I) are goers, thinkers, worriers, and doers. We overthink everything. We worry about the feelings of our family and friends. We stress about the unknowns.
We also, really like to be on the move, traveling, going places, exploring…all things we are unable to do freely at this time. This down time has left time for Colton to ponder, think and wonder about stuff that school would normally would distract him from. There is a lot more to our story and I today, I will only say this… our story involves divorce, lots of disappointments, but also lots and lots of unexpected and much needed LOVE. While I like to live in my fairy tale world. (My sister often tells me that my expectations for a kumbaya world is unrealistic and unfortunately life is hard and filled with difficult choices.) Colton has had to face many dark truths lately. Quite frankly it sucks, as no child should have to deal with such disappointments and heartaches. While he has been realizing the hard truths about people that are supposed to love him and care for him, he is also battling all the normal trials and tribulations that all regular kids face during the school day.
But today, I remember what I have forgotten. He is still a kid! In so many ways the pandemic has forced him to grow up. He gets on Zoom calls, cooks scrambled eggs and grilled cheese, and has even learned home to do some laundry. All great life skills, but at 8, are they necessary skills to know?? But today I had to get him out of the house. He really didn’t want to go, but I told him I had a special trail I wanted to take him to walk. So I tricked him and we ran to the pet store to look at the animals, our version of a free zoo right now, ran through the grocery store for a couple of items and then, after lots of complaining and saying he wished he had never left the house……..we went to a quaint little trail to walk and you know what he spotted……..playground. He took off running and told me to wait a second because he had something important to do. He ran up the steps and down the slide he came. He said “man, I haven’t done that in forever!” And in that moment I remembered that he has not been able to go to a park or to a playground since March 13, 2020, the last day of “normal school”.
It was so nice to watch him be a kid. He face lit up as he maneuvered around on the monkey bars. I am told, the slide was exceptionally fast! He jumped and even let me take a few action shots. Those action shots gave us a good laugh over dinner as we shared them with his step-dad. We joked that he was thrown into the air from a super fart. (When you have sons – fart jokes are life!)
I intended to include some stats, quotes and data to share how dyslexia and ADHD are all mangled into one, but instead, as I started writing I just could not stop. As I have continued to type, read, and edit, I reminded myself what I had forgotten. I had forgotten how much I love to write and why I started this blog in the first place, so I decided to JUMP!
I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank my little M&M! She knows who she is and asked me this week when I was going to write again. So this particular blog is really for her and she has no idea that even though she is many year younger than me, she does influence my life if ways that she will never understand.
Lots of love ~ Tiffany
One thought on “The Pandemic, ADHD, & What I forgot”
It was good to read this post on dyslexia. It made me realise how lucky we are that our dyslexic girl apparently has only dyslexia to cope with. What a thing to say !! But during our lockdowns – as well as school at home – she has been happily cooking, doing various paper craft activities….. and so on. And now as our new southern hemisphere school year starts she returns to her caring class teacher from last year with much relief. But right up to the end of last year she was getting very tired after a day of intense concentration to get through her school work. Those of us around her can only do so much for her, however much we want to do more. Still she is having a wonderful time over the school holidays doing things she really enjoys doing, including reading for pleasure ! and introducing her little brother to her favourite books and reading them to him. We are fortunate here in New Zealand to have had only border restrictions, and basic anti covid19 measures to observe. for a few months now. Your blog today reminds me we must enjoy it because we could go back to the serious measures at any time. All the best to you and your boy for the coming months. God bless !