April 13, 2008

It has been many moons since my last post...

Sorry, I just watched an old western type movie with indians and cowboys and stuff....the title was a bad attempt at humor. :)
So, in seriousness, it has been quite a while since I posted. Things have been stressed around my house for a while.
My oldest son was getting into lots of trouble at school, and at home, too. For a while, I was living in denial. And I don't mean the river in Eygpt, although I would like to visit that one. But, anyway, I kept telling myself he just needed....well, anything but what he really needed. I tried changing his diet, to eliminate preservatives and artificial colorings, flavors, etc. Which I needed to do anyway, just because it's healthier. That helped, but not a lot.
So, in the end, I had to suck it up, gather my courage, and let the dreaded question pass my lips: Does he have ADD? And to my horror, disappointment, fear, but not surprise, yes, he does. Massively.
My whole reason for dreading this diagnosis is that they generally medicate. I've always felt that medicating a child to get them to behave the way you want them to just isn't right. Don't misunderstand me....ADD/ADHD does exist, and there is nothing wrong with parents who medicate for that purpose. I just lived in that wonderful non-reality where I didn't believe my son needed medication to behave. I believed that I just needed to discipline more, praise more, something.
I was wrong.
My son's doctor put him on Focalin XR, and I'm in the midst of preparing to climb Mt. Everest and sing the praises of medication. OK, not really, but close. My son has totally turned around in the 4 days he's been on his medication. He listens, he remembers, he focuses, and he doesn't argue nearly as much as before. He does things without prompting, and doesn't fight doing chores any more than any normal 7 year old. Still fights with his brother, but hey...they're brothers. Can't fight nature.
The relief I feel over this situation is amazing. Or maybe that's just vacation.
I've been on vacation this last week, while school was on Spring Break. I had a whole week off with my boys. We spent every day outside, pretty much all day. It was beautiful. Here's one picture from the week (it might make you cry...get a tissue):

OK, I gave ya two. We went fishing, too. That's the lake. Beautiful, isn't it? Too bad the fish weren't biting. They apparently went into the witness protection program to hide from the cold front that has moved into our area. It's freakin' cold today! Well, not cold, I guess, but compared to this week when we've been getting sunburned and baked and roasted and fried outside, it's cold!

Still, all in all, vacation has been awesome. The tension and stress from my job has gone away, and I feel ready to face it again. We'll see if that feeling sticks when I get up and go in tomorrow. But, my sons and I have used this opportunity to reconnect and get close again. Work, school, and daily stress make it hard to feel close on a day to day basis sometimes, when it seems to them (and to me) that all we do is work, homework, cook, bathe, eat and sleep, with no time for pleasure, fun and just being together. This week has been awesome. We've had lots of time to talk, to play, to relax and enjoy each other's company.

We even went swimming yesterday. The water was really cold, which is why we usually don't swim until around Memorial Day. But once you got in, it wasn't bad. Or maybe that was hypothermia setting in. I'm not sure. If my lips go back to their normal color by tomorrow, we'll say it wasn't bad. If I never post another blog, well....then you'll know not to go swimming in April. :)

Meanwhile, it's a cloudy day today, with a chilly temperature outside, but nice and cozy inside. The kids are watching a dinosaur cartoon on TV, and I'm getting ready to put some stuffed shells in the oven for dinner. My mom made them for us. :) She's awesome. She made sure I don't have to cook on my last day of vacation. And she even made me some pasta salad for dinner tomorrow night, so all I have to do is figure out a meat to go with it. She made my first day back to work a bit more bearable, too.

I love my mom.

I love my kids.

I love my vacation...wish it was longer.

I love my life.

I love my job....well, let's not get to carried away here with the lovey-dovey crap, shall we?