A sense of the big picture is really tough for kids with ADHD (and Autism). They see what is before them right now, and little else. They see the trees, not the forest. They are here-and-now kids living a moment-by-moment life. Tomorrow might as well be years away. I have known this about Ricochet, my tween son with ADHD, for a very long time. He wants everything “Now!” He often tells me in a few days feels like an eternity. This concept is nothing new to me.
But the tragic loss of a beautiful friend and her son this week have given me a new, additional perspective on “the big picture.” We don’t have time to wallow in the day-to-day challenges of raising a child with ADHD or other special needs. Our time with our children is limited — by how much, no one knows — but there may not be a tomorrow. We have to take each day as though it is our last.
I know, living like there’s no tomorrow is a common concept. It has a deeper meaning for those of us raising a child with ADHD though, and that’s where my new perspective comes in. I often get caught up in every little thing (and sometimes big thing) my son struggles with. I become consumed by it. I cannot count how many times I have felt hopeless when he was struggling with things I felt powerless to help him with. I’ve lost myself many, many days.
There is joy in every single day though… somewhere. I’m here. My kids are here. My husband is here. We have an intact family for our kids. Ricochet is smart, kind, loving, loyal, funny… Warrior Girl, my teen daughter, is creative, talented, smart, kind, loyal, compassionate… These things don’t change on bad days — they’re still there. It’s time I use gratitude to ensure moments of joy each and every day. Yeah, this special brand of parenthood stinks sometimes, but there’s always room for joy, we just have to create it. We have to keep an eye on the bigger picture, and not get caught up in the day-to-day struggles. Remind yourself each day that your life (the bigger picture) is made up of a culmination of days. The sum of many joyful days equal a life well-lived, and waves of positive impact on many others.
Keep an eye on the big picture. Remember, this is just one day. Remember, tomorrow is fresh with no mistakes in it. Remember, today molds your child’s future. Remember, tomorrow is not guaranteed. How do you want to be remembered?
This post is dedicated to my friend, Tanji Dewberry, and her sweet eight-year-old son, Evan. They died together in a house fire as she tried to save him. Tanji was a fellow Warrior Mom and worked to impact the lives of kids with ADHD through her book, “Oh Fiddlesticks.” She was a bright and vivacious woman with an infectious smile and a nurturing soul. She will be greatly, greatly missed! You can purchase Tanji’s book, “Oh Fiddlesticks,” on Amazon.com here (Amazon currently shows it out of stock) or direct from the distributor. Consider purchasing one and gifting it to your local elementary school in her honor. Keep her legacy of helping children alive. And think of her when you’re getting bogged down by the small stuff…