Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Folly Of Wishing

Yesterday, we had the good fortune to score some really good tickets to a Braves Game. We sat directly behind the dugout, albeit on the visitor's side. But we could have hocked a loogie on Chipper Jones as he stood at third base, the wisdom of which was hotly debated by my boys.

We have never ever been that close before and we were all kind of jazzed about that. We took full advantage of the amenities, which included a waitress to fetch us all the overpriced and undercooked ballpark fare we could hold. Or, afford. Despite having free tickets we still managed to spend a ridiculous amount of money.

The weather was fine...clear and a little chilly, but perfectly comfortable if one was properly dressed.

I did not have a good time.

Diminutive One, as is often the case, made concentrating on the game impossible. He flipped his seat up and down. He tore the paper menu into strips and then threw them up into the air like confetti. He hummed. He whistled. He jiggled his leg. He stood up. He sat down. He climbed into the row behind us. He clambered back. He stood on his seat and nearly landed in the laps of the people in front of us. Three times. He went to the restroom. Three times. He did the wave long after it had died down, popping up and down like some maniacal jack in the box. He jabbered non-stop, asking a continuous stream of questions until I was nearly apopleptic with irritation.

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time you know that this is nothing new.

DO has always been Spirited and was recently diagnosed with ADHD. Usually, I deal with his behavior with a sort of resigned acceptance. It is often unpleasant and frustrating and wholly unrelaxing to take him places, but I can't confine him to the house for the rest of his natural born days. That would be a whole lot easier, but it would be unforgiveably cruel and certainly would not serve his best interests.

I try to avoid activities that require him to be still for a long period of time, but I don't think we should always have to cater to his needs. I don't think the entire family should be held captive by his diagnosis. So we just accept that some outings will be more challenging than others. And mostly, we are okay with that. We've become so accostomed to it that I don't think we'd know what to do with a meek and quiet child.

But last night, I just didn't want to be accepting. I didn't want to deal with it. I just wanted to watch the damn game. And so I spent the entire evening wishing that he could just be like other kids.

Seated across the aisle from us was a man sitting all by himself. He was an older fella, with the burnished skin of a man who has lived his life outdoors. He had a pleasant face with big soulful brown eyes. They were sad, but kind. During the first couple innings, I saw him scribbling industriously on a piece of ragged cardboard he had torn from an empty Budweiser carton. He was obviously making a sign of some sort, and I was wildly curious about what it would say. At last he finished and held it up to the camerman directly in front of the dugout. It read,

"LAST STOP. I have been to every Major League ballpark in the USA."


The cameraman blatantly ignored him, which I thought was a shame. What a wonderful human interest story it would have made.

Husband struck up a conversation with the man. He had indeed been to every ball park in the United States. It had taken him three years. Husband asked him if he had a ball from every park and he shook his head regretfully. But he did have a hat from every single one, he told us cheerfully.

Husband inquired as to why he was all by himself for such a momentous occasion. The man's face fell a little and those big brown eyes looked even sadder. He glanced at my boys wistfully, gave a small forlorn little smile and said, "My sons did not want to come with me."

Suddenly I felt ashamed of myself.

I had spent the entire evening wishing for something that can never be, instead of being grateful for what is.

It's an easy trap to fall into this wishing, when you have a child like Diminutive One, and I sometimes worry that I have wished his entire life away.

When he was an infant I wished he would just sleep. When he was a toddler, I wished he could just speak. When he was four, I wished so fervently for Kindergarten that it simply could not come fast enough. And every year since then I have wished that life with him could just be easier. I have wished for answers that will probably never come. I have wished for normalcy.

All that wishing when I should have been celebrating.

I have a child. A bright, creative, fantastically complex and endlessly challenging but marvelously unique and infinitely curious child.

And he is with me.

Every day I can touch him, smell his hair, pat his deliciously plump behind. Every day I can look into his face and see my mother's freckles, my husband's grin, my father's humor. Every day I can see with my own eyes that he is safe and happy and healthy.

My wish for today, is that I can appreciate here and now, what will be gone before I know it. Soon he will be lost to his own life. And then I will be wishing to have back all those years I wished away.

I wish...not to wish anymore.

20 Comments:

  • At 7:47 AM, Blogger Avalon said…

    Breathtaking!

    As an adult, i was diagnosed with ADD. i know that I was not an easy child, and therefore, I think it would probably break my Mother's heart to read this post. I'm sure it would hit terribly close to home.

    That gentleman was there for a reason. What a gift he gave you.

     
  • At 8:39 AM, Blogger Kirdy said…

    What a wonderful reminder that the mundane is actually magical. Thank you.

     
  • At 8:43 AM, Blogger bubandpie said…

    This post felt so familiar to me, both from growing up with my sister (extremely hyperactive, among other things) and from my own experiences with Bub.

    What I find is that I can handle the behaviour - it's what the behaviour symbolizes (if I let it) that becomes the problem. The behaviour becomes a measure of something else - the child's future, the (im)possibility of "normal" life... And then I snap back out of it and take the behaviour for what it is, a hurdle, an inconvenience, part of a much larger (and more wonderful) picture.

     
  • At 9:19 AM, Blogger jchevais said…

    I can certainly relate. My daughter drives me crazy too with her constant moving.

    What a relief though, to have an adult's comments make you realise how precious your children are rather than make you wish that you spent less time with them... I don't know if that makes sense but when my kids are acting up, I'm always imagining that other grown ups are giving me the evil eye rather than the kindly one.

    Thank goodness for the gentleman

     
  • At 11:53 AM, Blogger Mom101 said…

    Bittersweet and beautifully told. I've got Cat's in the Cradle in my head now (and damn you for that).

    It's a wonderful lesson - but I think it's also okay to sometimes admit that you wish things were different. It makes us human.

     
  • At 12:57 PM, Blogger Mrs. Chicky said…

    Okay, now I'm all sad for that guy. And disgusted with myself. I have to remember not to wish this time away.

    Thanks.

     
  • At 2:14 PM, Blogger Jess Riley said…

    I love this story. Isn't it funny how sometimes a random stranger will help put things in perspective?

     
  • At 2:24 PM, Blogger WI Mommy said…

    Thank you. I needed that bit of perspective on a day when my little guy has been driving me absolutely NUTS as well. I am going to take a deep breath and be thankful for his curiosity, rather than cringe everytime he says "why?".

     
  • At 4:19 PM, Anonymous heather said…

    What a great post! I laughed and cried a bit too (yes, I am a sentimental thing). Thank you.

     
  • At 4:30 PM, Blogger Six Green Zebras said…

    You have no idea how much I needed this today.

    Thank you

     
  • At 5:12 PM, Anonymous doodaddy said…

    We're not asked to master every frustration, only to draw lessons from it whenever we can. You've done that very elegantly.

     
  • At 5:33 PM, Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said…

    This is so much better than listening to "Cats in the Cradle" (hey, I promise I wrote this before I read mom101's comment!). Gosh, isn't it amazing how these moments can get you right in the heart? You told this story beautifully.

     
  • At 7:44 PM, Blogger margalit said…

    What a lovely tribute to your son. I have a son with ADHD too. In fact, he is also bipolar and is right now in the hospital due to a depressive crisis. For all the times I wish he would just SHUT UP and GO AWAY, the house is so quiet without him and I'm sad and misearble when he's not around. He's a very difficult person to be around, and as he gets older, it tends to get more annoying, but the fact is, I love him and I love who he is despite his issues.

    I can see that you feel the same about your own son.

     
  • At 1:41 PM, Blogger deb said…

    My oldest has ADD and my youngest is special needs. I spent many, many hours watching the clock tick by just so I could survive. It's not that I don't love them, I do, but sometimes they grind you down to the very nub of your existence, until you worry there will be nothing left of you.
    It's better now, they're older but I do rember those times. It's okay to feel that way sometimes, we're human.

     
  • At 3:27 PM, Blogger mamatulip said…

    How I can relate, even though my son is not two yet. Wonderful post, BA...great perspective.

     
  • At 10:23 PM, Blogger jen said…

    this is beautiful. why didn't his sons want to join him, i sit here wondering?

    and yes, cherish what we have. it's all we have.

     
  • At 10:25 PM, Blogger Kerry said…

    I love this post.

     
  • At 8:07 AM, Blogger Sandra said…

    So wise. So true. So well written.

    There is alot of comofrting insight for me in an unrelated way. I wish all the time for another child when I should be just grateful for the wonderful one I have.

     
  • At 8:38 AM, Blogger In the Trenches of Mommyhood said…

    Another beautiful post. "I wish....not to wish anymore." So astute and wise as I find myself torn between longing for the days of 3 schoolage children and yearning to hold a precious newborn for just one more time.

     
  • At 6:29 PM, Blogger Ruth Dynamite said…

    This is really beautiful, BA, because so often, for whatever reason, we don't appreciate what we have.

    This man helped you remember. What a gift.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home