Kermit the Frog sings a song, “It’s Not Easy Being Green” in which he laments about being green and how common that makes him. In our home, while the degree of lamenting is the same, the tune is a little different.
The song I sing is “It’s Not Easy Being Me.” I’m not talking about myself here. I sing it whenever I am reminded of the challenges faced by my 10-year-old Andrew, who struggles (a very appropriate word) with ADHD, in addition to some other Ds.
When things are particularly challenging for Andrew—and because of him—and I’m tempted to lose my cool or my patience or both, I remind myself of this one thing: While his behavior can be very difficult for me to deal with as a parent, I can only begin to imagine what this must be like when seen through the eyes of a 10-year-old with very limited ability to change it.
And on those days when I’ve had enough, I can send my son to his room for some time to cool off and play Legos or have him sit on the recliner and read a book, so that I get a much-needed “time out” from the challenge.
But where does he go when he’s had enough of his own shenanigans? What does he do when another classmate doesn’t want to be his friend because he’s too “hyper?”
How does he cope with the disappointment of not participating in a camping trip or a visit with friends or relatives because they think he’s “too much.” What does a 10-year-old boy with ADHD do when he knows he’s “too much” but isn’t able to behave "less?"
It is these thoughts that continually remind me that, no matter how challenging I may think parenting a child with ADHD is, it pales in comparison to having ADHD.
I am impressed with Andrew’s undaunted spirit for life. No matter what happens each day, no matter the challenges, disappointments or struggles, he wakes up each morning with an excitement for the day ahead that is uncontainable.
It reminds me of when tried wrestling and, although he was not very good at all, each time the bell rang at the end of the match and his opponent was awarded the win, he walked off the mat and exclaimed, “That’s okay, I’ll get him next time!”
So when I am concerned about him and I lift him in prayer, I’m reminded of that wrestling meet. And I can imagine Andrew shaking off the “loss” of another tough day, exclaiming to himself, “That’s okay, I’ll get it next time!”