Today someone did something nice for me. It may not seem like much, but today a total stranger with whom I've had a 3-message exchange on Twitter (although on Twitter that just about makes you best friends) told me she likes me, that I have a good sense of humour...and that I'm special. Her words hold particular meaning for me because she is an ADHD coach, so she "gets it."
Why am I so special, you might ask. Apparently it's because I've managed to keep my sense of humour through everything we've been through and continue to go through with Bear. Apart from being extremely flattered at such a lovely, and unsolicited, compliment, what hit me is that the ability to retain my sense of humour struck her, a professional who deals with parents like me on a daily basis, as something that stood out. As I said to her, if I don't laugh, I'll cry.
Thankfully, I don't cry as much as I used to, but I've had my bad days, trust me. I’ve had days when I’ve locked myself in the bathroom and called my parents to come get my precious little boy. I’ve had days when I’ve gone out on the deck and told him to stay in the house and leave me alone (my way of putting some space between us so I don't do/say something I'll regret). I’ve had days when I’ve crawled into my bed crying after finally settling him for the night. I’ve had days when I’ve lay on his bed with silent tears running down my face, holding him as he falls asleep, finally worn out physically and emotionally from a 2-hour tantrum that involved him hitting, kicking, pinching, biting, spitting, and throwing things, and culminated in me or my husband having to physically restrain him. I’ve even had days when I’ve fallen to my knees in tears, praying to God for the strength to get through this and to be the mother he needs. And trust me, I’ve had days when he has gotten the better of me and I have found myself slapping that little bum of his (oh shut up...let's see what you do when your son is throwing toys at your head and laughing when his aim is true) or yelling back at him. For the record, finding yourself yelling "No, you shut up!" at your five-year-old is not a good feeling.
So to my new-found friend...thank you. Thank you for taking the time to "get it." Thank you for taking the time to tell me I'm doing a good job. Thank you for encouraging me to keep laughing.
And to the moms and dads who haven't yet found a way to laugh, hold on. Our children are challenging in ways that others can't even begin to understand. It's a rough road we travel, but the hugs and kisses and giggles, even though they're sometimes rare, make it worth the trip.