My son, Ricochet, is on his big, year-end fifth grade field trip today. They left the school on charter buses at 5: 20 a.m.  this morning (I don’t want to talk about it), bound for a science center three hours away. They won’t be back until 6 p.m. tonight. It’s a long day, but most kids and parents would take it in stride — just another day, with a little fun and adventure thrown in. That’s not so easy for Ricochet and I, for a few reasons: [more…]

  • This momma has anxiety. My mind goes down the what-if bunny trail until I’m envisioning my son’s funeral and in a complete panic. This morning I had a little conversation with my irrational fears:

“The odds of a bus accident or my child getting lost or abducted are very small. Ricochet will be okay. He will have a great time. He will learn a lot. He will come home to me unharmed and on time this evening. The rest is out of my hands.

Then I’ve proceeded to perseverate on the fact that I wish my son had a phone so I could check in with him. T minus five hours until I pick him up this afternoon. {sigh}

  • Ricochet has ADHD. He takes medication that provides about seven to eight hours of symptom control. After that, all bets are off. He took his pill at 5:15 a.m. this morning. That means it’s getting interesting and much more exciting to be around him right about now. 😉 However, he usually has the best behavior and focus on field trips. This boy is a kinesthetic and tactile learner for sure!
  • Last week, Ricochet let his teacher know he would not be watching the IMAX film. His teacher said he could stand outside the theater. Now, I’ve assured myself they would not leave him standing there alone for over an hour, but my irrational brain has me imagining him leaning against the wall and fidgeting for a while, then getting distracted and wandering off. But, the teachers can’t leave him alone, right?
  • If Ricochet gets within a mile of a gift shop, he will sense it, and he will have to buy something. I gave him $20 in preparation for this, but his daddy, Mr. T, thinks he will want something more expensive and ask his teacher for money! I don’t think he would do that, but I do fear he might ask a classmate for money. It takes him a super-long time to make a decision in gift shops, but once he wants something, he’s fixated and it ends badly about half the time. Or, scenario #2 is that they see the gift shop but don’t go in. Will he be able to handle that frustration appropriately.

Ricochet was so stressed about the upcoming field trip yesterday afternoon, that he broke under the pressure while doing his math homework. I’m not surprised, since there are a lot of unknowns for him to process. I was so proud of the way he articulated what was bothering him, even though he still had an outburst, breaking pencils and wading up his worksheet.

I was texting with a friend last night and mentioned Ricochet’s field trip. She immediately asked if I was going too, then showered me with pride when I let her know I was not. I’ve learned over the last five years since Ricochet’s diagnosis that I have to let go of the reins in order for him to have the opportunity to take control. It’s definitely a lot more uncomfortable letting go since he has special needs and his actions aren’t always understood by others. But, I have to do it for my own well-being and the well-being of my kiddo. We both need to realize that he can stand on his own two feet successfully.

What was it like when you let go for your child with ADHD the first time?