blog | Jan 15, 2011 | 2 Comments

Our Love and our Differences Equally Profound

Adjective: (of a state, quality, or emotion) Very great or intense.
Noun: The vast depth of the ocean or of the mind

It’s a cold and snowy Saturday. I’ve had my eye on this weekend for days and days. The husband has gone snowmobiling with his buddies.  I am in control of our destiny, or at least in control of this weekend.  As much control as one can have with a 9 and a 12 year old.

My plan?  I tell myself it’s not to have a plan, but that’s a little lie I tell myself.  My idea of not having a plan is to conjure up a constant set of options that I place on my Wheel of Fortune. I spin the wheel hourly on the days leading to this one, contemplating the best prize.


All of them are so enticing and beautiful and I am completely overwhelmed at the options.

I awake in a sea of fuzzy blankets completely rested from not sleeping beside the train tracks otherwise known as my handsome but snoring husband.

I listen. There it is, my long lost soul sister, named Quiet.

I slip out of bed and smooth the covers back.  I even sleep calmly, as to not mess up the sheets. I relish in some yoga, while looking over the snowy landscape. I live in a place so beautiful it overwhelms me sometimes.  This is my Zen, this is my place. This is where I am my best.

After my dogs have been downward and my poses childlike, I begin the “tasks of tidiness”. Laundry is in; counters are cleaned, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.  My wheel of fortune has been spun twice and landed on big money, yoga and clean counters.

The girl awakes and senses my vibe. No TV, no radio, just tidying. She instinctively knows that taking her bowl of cereal to the basement TV is good for everyone.  She says, “I’ll leave you with your quiet.” She’s nine years old. She’s also mini me.

The clock is ticking and soon Dude will rise from his nest and the vibe will instantly be changed. I try to plan. I call to him asking if he’d like some breakfast. No response. I finish the laundry and unload the dishwasher as my pot of spiced coffee brews filling the house with the smell of me; my favorite coffee that the husband hates. I will relish in the entire pot. Another winning spin on my Wheel of Fortune.

I’m rounding home on the cleaning game which means I’m just minutes from a space that is big money on the wheel, sitting in a clean space with my spiced coffee reading or writing and being the me I love to be. This is a coveted space in this busy life.

I try to be proactive without being bossy and go into Dude’s nest. He’s smiling sitting in a pile of Lego’s talking to his video games and having his own Wheel of Fortune day.  The prizes on his wheel look very different from mine. I ask, “Do you want some breakfast?” He declines because he’s just built a new monster truck which I can tell was big money on his Wheel of Fortune and he wants to see that baby roar to life in action.

I return to the kitchen, make a whole wheat pancake to go with my coffee and find the book I’ve been waiting to read. Just as I sink myself into the couch and wrap myself in blanket and book, Dude comes down the stairs.

I know he’s coming long before I see him. He vibrates. He’s clicking his tongue on the roof of his mouth in a rhythm designed to be used in torture tactics. He begins asking me questions from the top of the stairs long before I can see his face. Hey mom,“ Guess what?” If only I had a nickel for  each of these guesses.

He doesn’t wait for my response. He begins telling me in the detail of a chemical engineer, every specific of what it takes to build this monster truck that he has conquered today. He tells me the background and history on the making of the game and the evolution of why they have made such upgrades and his very passionate opinion on those that are insane, (which means good), and those that are ridiculous and heinous and should be cause for criminal punishment.

I’m convinced that he’d make a great scuba diver because he requires very little breath.  When he’s on a topic that he loves, I’m not sure he breathes at all. Once his grandfather asked if he could record their conversations so he could play them back on slow motion and actually understand what he’s saying.

He’s dragging a blanket, half wrapped around him, that knocks everything I have stacked on the stairs down one step at a time. He doesn’t even notice.

I read the same sentence in my book three times trying to stay focused. Keep the Zen. Keep the Zen.

At the bottom of the stairs he smiles and says, “I’m hungry.” He really has no keen recollection that we just had a breakfast conversation twice in the last 20 minutes. Knowing he’d rather eat the bottom of his shoe than my whole wheat pancake I haven’t bothered to fix him one.

I feel the anxiety rush into my eye sockets and the back of my throat.  In a tone harsher than necessary I say, “I just asked you twice what you wanted to eat.” He responds, “I wasn’t hungry then.”

While I’m not sure of the biological response to one becoming hungry in the span of 20 minutes, I do know that he had no link to his stomach 20 minutes ago because he was hyper focused on Monster Jam 2011.

While pacing the kitchen in a circle  he’s asking what we have to eat. I know he is pacing, not because I can see him, because each step he slaps his barefoot almost in a tap dance fashion that creates a sound vibration much like the explosion scenes from Independence Day. At least that’s how it sounds in my head. He’s clicking slapping and talking and shuffling the blanket. Dude vibrates.

The question of “what is there to eat” is always a puzzling one to me I find it puzzling for several reasons. . One, I’m the only one that gets asked this question. Two, they were with me at the grocery store and helped put the groceries away. And three, I don’t hide stuff. What you see is what you get. The pantry is an open book of shelving with the answer to that question available at a glance.

The question behind the question is, “Will you fix me something to eat?”

I stop attempting to read my book and try to calm the anxiety building in my brain because intellectually it seems unfounded. But my response is more emotional. I’m losing my Zen. I’m clinging to it, grasping like a toddler on mom’s leg the first day of preschool. This is my Wheel of Fortune. My hard won nest of quiet and warm.

I respond coldly but not too harsh, “I don’t care what you eat as long as it’s not ridiculous, has some healthy benefits, and you clean up every speck of it when you are done.”

As he continues the breakfast search, he fires questions like the Nerf machine gun he just knocked off the stairs.

“Is RediWhip liquid in the can? You know, before you squirt it out?”

“Do you think there is a name for words that rhyme at the beginning instead of the end?”

“What’s in this bag? Oh, it’s ham.”

Click, click, click of the tongue in between questions.

Then singing the latest song he’s written, then adding some Guns N Roses lyrics, switching back and forth so quickly I can’t decide if he’s going for a medley; the whole time pacing the kitchen, opening and shutting the fridge door, with feet, slap, slap, slapping.

I decide to discuss this dynamic with him and explain what’s in my head so we can both get back on a level playing field.

He comes and sits by me on the couch apologizing immediately because apologies are his auto pilot. Always assuming he’s violated some expectation.  I tell him not to apologize, I just want to explain something. I briefly cover the excitement I’ve had about spending this day quietly reading since his dad is gone. He says, “Ok, I understand. Sorry mom. That sounds good for you.” He’s such a sweet sweet boy on the inside of all of his vibrations.

I go back to my book thinking we’ve come to an agreement. I read one sentence, the same sentence for the fourth time. He’s back in the kitchen. “Mom, really is RediWhip liquid in the can?” I hear the sound of RediWhip gas escaping without the RediWhip because the can is upright.

He then goes on with his play by play. “I think I’ll have some hot chocolate, hmmmm, I really wanted pancakes, I just don’t know.”

“Dude! Come on, can you do that quietly, I’m trying to read!”  My annoyance no longer under wraps, he says without hesitation, “I forgot!” also clearly annoyed.  It’s been exactly 90 seconds since we had our conversation to manage expectations. He’s not kidding. He forgot. Damned RediWhip was so enticing it erased everything about our conversation.

Then he decides it’s his turn to tell me what was on his Wheel of Fortune prize wheel.

“I’m sorry, I was upstairs having a great day, I was smiling, playing my video games and so excited about my new monster truck, I’m sorry! I really just wanted us all to have a good day.”

There you have it. The rub.  Both of us set out to have a really good day, yet here we are, our two worlds colliding. This is the rub that makes ADHD relationships so frustrating. Dude loves me, he probably loves me as much as his new Monster Jam 2011 truck. I love him. I love him with a mother’s love; one with no real words to accurately describe the depth and breadth.

Here we are, bathed in shared love, and both set out with a shared desire for a great day. Yet together, our Wheels of Fortune just roll and collide, leaving all of the great prizes scattered on the floor. Nobody’s winning.

I respond, “I know, Dude, your idea of a great Saturday and mine are just really different. Let’s just try and respect those differences.”

He finishes his breakfast with the sound of clicking and knocking and spoons and plates and banter to himself that collectively sounds like the third act of Rent, the musical. He finishes by actually cleaning up which means the knocking and the banging grow to a crescendo. In a tornado of blue blanket, he climbs back up the stairs knocking off the last of the items I’ve placed there on his way back through.

With the muffled sound of Dude blasting some hair band behind closed doors, I go back to coffee and book. Luckily, I like cold coffee too.

There are days when I’m less in tune to my desire to honor our differences. It is on those days that this encounter would have sent me into a frenzy of frustration with ranting and yelling and gnashing of teeth. Some days are better than others.  Today, I’m focused with the right paradigm, “Not Wrong, Just Different”.   The more I plug this paradigm into my heart and my head, the better we become together, both of us spinning the Wheel of Fortune and coming up winners.


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OMG! Were you just a fly on the wall in my house today? As I typed I’m waiting for my little guy to finish tidying up his room for bedtime . . . you know, the bedtime that begins with lights out at 9 and it’s 9:51. He’s dashing from one thought to another and proclaims his hunger. Is this because he’s really hungry or because he’s trying to delay bedtime a bit longer? I don’t know but tonight, if he is really hungry, he’s going to bed that way. I’m looking forward to my quiet.

It’s really great to read/hear stories of circumstances/lives that are so like mine. We have a common bond and many other people join that bond with us . . . ADHD.

Awesome post chapter! I love your writing style and how it captures me as though they were my thoughts . . . a recap of my life. Well done!



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