Card, Please…


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I have half-jokingly told friends that parenting a teen or “tween” should be automatic qualification for a medical marijuana card. Talk about chronic pain, oy! Next time the teen(s) break curfew, violate a basic house rule, or manage to be a general pain in the tush, parents should be allowed to take a long, slow drag from a big fat joint….inhaling deeply.

That is my fantastic, cartoonish imagination letting me deal with momentary stress. I’m not here to debate the merits/benefits/whatever of pot. Far more educated minds than mine have given voice on the matter, and federal law is clear on the matter. I have no plans to grow, buy, or use cannabis. It just makes me feel better thinking that most parents of teens understand the sentiment.

I have two children. Grown children. They are out in the world making their own respective way, and learning what life has to teach (not that mom didn’t try). I also have two more children. Blended family, so to speak. With them I have been getting a refresher on teendom.

Although the youngest is not yet a teen, her life is no less complex. The world that she inhabits has also been gifted with ADHD. It’s a gift she’s often said she’d like to return. With those four not-so-little letters, we parents have found ourselves thrust into something that there is no preparing for, so we muddle along. Mistakes (hers and ours) are abundant and sometimes amusing.  She has given us the gift of perspective. What we understand is not what she understands. Yet, through her frustration she has managed a sense of humor:

     Sometimes living with ADHD can be tough. I’m reminded regularly when being told, “Sweetie, we love you but you just aren’t ready for texting yet.” Well, shipoopie.

      I am more ADD than ADHD. I tend to have trouble with concentration instead of being hyperactive. Hyper is definitely my brother’s line of work. When he gets wound up, he makes Robin Williams look comatose.

      My parents keep saying that one (or both) of them must have some form of ADHD, because “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” But this apple has rolled a little…

      In the past couple of years, I’ve been through endless and mind-numbing conferences, counseling sessions, and doctor’s visits. All to deal with the ADHD, and trust me, it’s not fun. Not that I don’t enjoy being treated like a science experiment, but even a lab rat has limitations.

      The upside to it all is, after each session I get to go to lunch with Mom and even sometimes have ice cream. So even though it’s annoying, it can also be alright.

      The bottom line is this: my little bubble of a world is filled with the reality of ADHD, and bursting with new experiences every day.

      These are just a few thoughts from My Little Monkey Mind.

This is her very first blog, and there is plenty more where it came from. I am proud and delighted to be a part of her life, and wouldn’t trade her for a dozen Stepford-children. Her mother expressed exquisitely how this ‘tween affects the lives we thought we knew:

“She is here to make us rise to a new level of complex thinking and problem solving, and then do it all again in a different way, checking any expectations we have at the door. She is going to push us to grow past our comfort zones.”

Just in case, I googled ‘comfort zone,’ it has nothing to do with medical marijuana. Well, shipoopie.

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