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Smog and stars

April 26, 2012

Around November Bobo’s ability to cope with frustration and stress started a slow nosedive. It was most likely the cumulative result of a lot of factors, most having to do with the increased workload and activity list in second grade and the fact that his medications were, to put it politely, not working for him and in fact were making things a whole lot worse. Plenty of stories to mine there, but I will leave that for another time, a time when I can perhaps appreciate that there were Important Life Lessons to be gained from the experience. Personally, I think I might have been able to live without learning how fast I am capable of running (in heels) after a shrieking eight year old in a parking lot or how to change the ring tone for his school to “The Imperial March” from Star Wars. But I digress.

We finally, I think, have the meds mostly figured out, which is a win-win because Bobo can feel himself being more focused and then he tries harder to keep it under control.  And we’re continuing to work hard on other interventions and strategies, but we needed meds to help keep his brain level enough to take them in. Yesterday and today I realized we were getting somewhere. I dug a crumpled note out of his backpack full of stickers and stars and a note from his teacher saying TELL YOUR MOM AND DAD HOW MANY GREAT DAYS YOU HAVE HAD AT SCHOOL!! Today was the second grade music performance, the kind with clonking Orff instruments and risers full of kids standing stick-straight, not sure where to look. Once Kevin and I got into the auditorium, I sat down and could feel my face rearranging itself into an expression I reserve for such events: half happy and excited, half cringing as I wonder if he will get Set Off (yes, we capitalize those words at our house). I brightly mouthed “good luck!” to him as I mentally did the ADHD Hail Mary

pleasedontrunaroundpleasedontblurtoutanythingweirdpleasedonthideunderthebleachers

and my feet ached from curling my toes tightly inside my shoes.

And then.

About five minutes in Kevin and I snuck amazed looks at each other and I watched our boy shine. He sang, he even danced choreography (WHEN HE WAS SUPPOSED TO AND TO THE ACTUAL SONG BEING PLAYED), he sat quietly while the other class performed. He mugged a little for the forest of videocameras, but no more so than other kids. And now he is ouside playing Nerf Medieval Warrior (don’t even ask me) with the boys on our street, something which is so simple yet so profound in its meaning for him that it makes me want to lay my head down on the kitchen table and cry in happiness. The whole haze of irritability and stress seems to have lifted, like a gentle wind has blown away smog covering his sparkling star-ness. And tomorrow it could very well be different. For today, though, it isn’t.

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