Parenting, the great adventure... when you're up in the middle of the night with a crying baby it seems like it's going pretty slow, but then suddenly it's like being aboard a steam train headed.... well, somewhere... FAST, and you just gotta hang on and make the best of it trusting that in the end, you'll get where you need to be...well, part of this adventure has been a long one, and hard, very hard.
My son Luke is very intelligent, he has a phenomenal memory and is sweet, kind and thoughtful. He is detail oriented and loves to learn, spending most of his days creating amazing car designs and maps, and reading the rest of the time. He is a great snuggler and loves to wrestle. Yet there was an outward shell of distraction, frustration, and intense feelings, and it just felt like something wasn't right. I wanted so much for my child to reach his potential and have meaningful relationships with others, and be happy, after all, that's what the adventure is all about right? I just didn't anticipate all this...
He started with speech therapy at 3 1/2 then had social skills classes, then occupational therapy, then trips to several psychologists, then visits to an ENT, a Functional vision exam, a hearing test, and many trips to Seattle for iLS therapy. Then more trips to psychologists, and then the Amen Clinic where he was finally diagnosed with ADHD Ring of Fire (that's the latest guess). Then we went to a Sleep clinic for a sleep study, then a naturopath for food allergy testing now we're about to start Neurofeedback to see if we can't alleviate remaining symptoms and perhaps get rid of some of the supplements he takes several times a day. The great news is that I just found an amazing pediatrician who seems like a Godsend.
When you've been to that many doctors, filled out that much paperwork and spent way too many hours researching different disorders, therapies, and tests, you begin to appreciate the complexity of the human body (especially the brain) and how far we are from knowing how everything works and fits together. I feel like I have a little more compassion for the mother of that kid who's misbehaving or throwing a fit because sometimes they're doing everything they can and there's more going on there than the rest of us can see (sometimes the kid needs some discipline but it's not the cure all I thought it once was!).
He has come so far, and I am amazed with how patient he has been with all of this. He has endured, and boy, I have endured. I wish I had been more patient because I probably spent a little too much time crying, and not enough time on my knees, although sometimes I multitasked those two... When you're in the middle of a trial it's sometimes hard to know how long it will be until you reach the end of the tunnel of darkness and reach the light (I think that's where the faith and patience comes in). I know that I needed this experience in my life to learn and grow because my learning curve has pretty much been vertical. And above all I know that God has been aware of my struggle and heartache because all along this difficult road, there have been Sunday School teachers, Preschool teachers, friends, neighbors, all seemingly placed directly in my path so that although I was facing the biggest trial to date in my life, I wasn't facing it alone. My husband gets super props because he has absorbed most of those tears, and he has been my lifeline countless times when I needed major support.
I truly believe that as a mother I have been privileged to not only have these sweet children in my home to teach and love, but that when I need help with knowing how to do that, I get it. There have been many times when I have followed the direction of the Spirit in parenting, and then later, a therapist or teacher recommended that I do just that. I now credit more of my "great ideas" to divine intervention because they were so right on, and heck, I've never done this before!
My son got dressed without a fuss this morning, was happy about going to Church, participated, even created an activity for the children's singing time for me to use (that's my job :) and played with his sister this afternoon.... there was no sign of the opposition, distraction, frustration that there was before. I know there will be hard days ahead, there are for every parent and every kid, but I feel like I'm coming out the end of the tunnel, and the sky is blue. And that blue, is the most beautiful color I've ever seen.