M was an easy baby who slept through the night at 6 weeks. He never went through the “terrible-twos.” For his 4th birthday, all he wanted was a blue cowboy hat. In pre-school, his teacher once said, “I wish he was more assertive; if someone takes something out of his hands, I wish he would just grab it back.” (Walking away from that conference, I remember thinking – No, I think I’m okay with him being less aggressive.)
And just today, I heard from his kindergarten teacher, Mrs. K. She remembers M as a boy with “shiny blue eyes full of wonder.” Then she added that he was “so patient for a 5 year old.”
Then came middle school – and it was brutal. It was difficult for M to stay focused in the classroom setting, so we tried several different medicines for ADHD. None of them gave him relief in the ways he needed; he lost weight, he was moody and grumpy after school, and he was still getting in trouble on a regular basis during the school day. Looking back, I don’t know what I would have done differently – but I probably did leave a few stones left unturned.
So tonight, I sit at my kitchen table, staring at the doorway to his bedroom, wondering what it will be like when he’s home in a few days. He’s not going to like our rules, and he’s not going to like the family gatherings we have planned. As strange as Thanksgiving 2011 might be, I’m still so grateful that we turned over some big stones this fall.