No mother wants to think that there is something “wrong” with their child. No mother wants to feel responsible for what that “wrong” may be. But, there comes to a point in every mother’s role that you have to accept that while that “wrong” may not be anyone’s fault, it is something that has to be addressed and handled.
When Evans was born, he was perfect in every way. Yes… I know, I know. Every mother thinks this way but, seriously. He was born with no issues, came home and slept in his crib the first night. Never cried but, when he did… you knew that something was “wrong”. Back then, “wrong” meant he might have a grumbling tummy. “Wrong” could be a dirty diaper in the middle of the night or at what seemed to be the most inopportune time imaginable. This baby that I loves so much was independent. To a fault.
He stayed with babysitters without complaint. He went to the strangers that wanted to hold him with no second thoughts or worry that I might leave. My angel was his own person.
Most everyone that is reading this will know my battle with alcoholism and how far that we have come as a family in dealing with it. I won’t elaborate anymore on it but, I used to hold tremendous guilt that whatever was “wrong” with Evans well, it must be my fault. There was no other explanation.
Kindergarten went great. He had the most amazing teacher a mother could hope for. One that praised his knowledge. Almost held him to higher standards than all the other children because well, he would meet those standards time and time again. Then, comes second grade. This seemed to be where things seemed to start going “wrong”. (There’s that word again.) Evans was placed with a teacher that I knew from other parents to be a typical, been in the classroom too long, hates kids and is just counting the days until she could collect that retirement check, corral the children and pass them on to the next teacher. Evans and she did not mesh well. He, being a very strong-willed little man and she, being a tyrant that seemed to make his life a living hell on a daily basis. Please understand, I am not claiming that my son is perfect. FAR, FAR, FAR from it! He always had his little quirks. And, it seemed that he was always getting into something. (Common sense has never been his strong suit)
Follow on to second grade. His teacher seemed so much more involved. So intrigued with this seven year old that was reading Moby Dick in it’s entirety and could keep track of several story lines at once without missing a beat. He was bored with her work so, she moved him into doing third and fourth grade curriculum. Then, as most people tend to do with my handsome, intelligent boy, she gave up on him. His attitude was just too much. He wasn’t focused. He caused disturbances in class. He was in the principal’s office at least once a week.
After Christmas break, we changed his school. He THRIVED. At first. Then, slowly, even with the AMAZING teacher that he had now, he was becoming complacent. Uninterested.
After a few months, it became increasingly clear that something was “wrong” with this scenario. (Please note, I said “wrong” with the scenario. Not with Evans.)
Fast forward to his first psychiatrist’s appointment. At the time, I never thought I would be saying those words out loud. That was it. I had sold out. I was going to a doctor for my perfect, intelligent, sensitive son.
I walked in with guns blazing. I had questions written down. I had symptoms of numerous childhood ailments written down. Hoping that this man, whom I had never met could offer some insight on what was going on with my child. I mean, I was supposed to be telling HIM about Evans. Not the other way around. I carried this child for nine months. I gave birth to this little boy. There is nothing that a total stranger could tell me about MY son. Nope. No way. Except what I feared all along. Four letters that could define a person. ADHD.
Now, with that being said, there are far worse things that I could have heard. I am grateful that ADHD is something that can be researched and dealt with. But, I didn’t want Evans medicated. That was that.
ADHD, it was. Medication, it was given. Results, they were immediate. Who can argue with that? But, with all the positives that came with finding out what was “wrong”, there came a whole other world of worries and questions.
Evans, to date, has lost so much weight that his size 12 jeans have been replaced with size 8 shorts that he was wearing in the summer of 2011. No appetite and situations where I have allowed him to eat whatever and whenever he wanted just to get something into his mouth. I have bought meal replacement bars. Given vitamins. And, I’m still not sure if what was “wrong” will ever be completely right. All I do know, is that I love my son. Even at eight years old, he is my best friend. He loves me and I love him more than I ever thought possible. He has a good heart, a strong set of morals and of right and “wrong”. He loves people. He’s a good brother. He’s smart, kind and amazing. He’s also hot headed, lazy, forgetful and a sometimes really, BAD liar.
But, kids will be kids, right? Nothing “wrong” with that.