The last week has been complete and utter crap. But last night? The worst.
My nine year old son Matthew, my fire and inspiration for fighting to build parent voice in education has been having difficulty transitioning back to school as a kid with ADHD. Compound that with a growth spurt, medication changes and new kids in his class, (I know my special needs parent readers will know just how tough it’s been.)
But last night *I* lost it.
I woke up at 1:30 am to the sounds of glasses and bowls clinking together downstairs in the kitchen. I knew what that meant. Matthew’s medication had finally worn off and he was ravenously hungry — and raiding the kitchen. Instead of opting for the safe snacks we have for just this reason, he decided to open up 4 bags of chocolate chip muffin mix and proceeded to mix them together in the livingroom.
White powder covered the floor, pots and pans littered the hallway and the sticky batter was smeared into the cushions of the couch.
I sat down on the floor and started to cry. I was physically, mentally and spiritually exhausted. This has happened so. many. times. The same way over and over and over again. And it seems like no matter how many times I try to fix it, I’m just not being heard.
I cleaned up the mess, told Matt that he was banned from the living room ***FOREVER*** and then took my station sitting across the top of the stairs to prevent him from once again going down and repeating the cycle the next hour.
And once he fell asleep, I cried. And it was ugly crying.
“I give up. I don’t know how to fix this. I can’t do this. I don’t want to do this anymore.”
I felt defeated. Frustrated. Frazzled. Alone. At the end of my rope.
And that’s ok.
It’s not his fault. Matthew simply cannot control his impulses. He takes two kinds of medications every day that make the concept of food repulsive to him during the day only to blossom into an insatiable appetite once it’s worn off. And he’s a nine year old little boy who makes a mess. And frankly, I know 29-year-old boys who make pretty big messes too.
It wasn’t my finest moment. I should have tried to do more. I shouldn’t have lost my mind in a moment of frustration. Because in the end, it wasn’t the end of the world. And sometimes, things get really, really messy.
But one bad night doesn’t mean I will ever, ever give up on trying to figure things out. He needs my commitment, my grit and my determination — I cannot give up. It’s simply too important and he is counting on me to push through and make things happen.
And when my feet hit the floor this morning, I was more determined now than ever to find a solution and move forward — because Matthew still needs me. And we will do this.
Today is a new day. Today is another opportunity to do it better and get it right. To try something differently, learn something new and learn from what went badly so we can be better prepared having learned from dark times and challenging experiences.
And tonight if I have another disaster to clean up, I will make it through and continue on.
I will never, ever give up on Matthew. And I will never give up the ship.
What do you think?