The Halloween Superstore was set up in an old J. C. Penney store. It was huge, full of things that jumped, screamed, cackled, gasped, and moaned. My eight-year-old son was more than a little freaked. Of course, he enjoyed it a little bit, as well. For her part, my daughter had a good time trying to scare the shit out of her little brother, as all older siblings are wont to do.
As the afternoon progressed, it became very obvious that my son had not been given his ADHD medication in the morning. (He spent last night with his aunts.) He bounced from one costume to another. Kept running away from us. And, as the afternoon got longer, he started using his favorite phrase--"I don't care." As in, "If you don't come with us right now, we won't be getting this costume for you." Answer: "I don't care." Or, "If you don't get in the car, we are not going to go back to grandma's house." Answer: "I don't care. This is stupid."
My son is always a handful. Without his medication, he's more than five handfuls.
Today's episode of Saint Marty first aired two years ago. Oddly enough, at the time, I was also worried about my son and his medication. Bob Dylan once said, "Take care of all your memories. For you cannot relive them." In 2014 on this day, I wasn't too sure what kind of memories my son was going to have of his time in school.
October 23, 2014: A Fine Spider, My Son, Medication
"That's a fine spider and I'm going to capture it," said Avery. He took the cover off the candy box. Then he picked up a stick. "I'm going to knock that ol' spider into this box," he said.
Avery Arable is all boy. He carries around frogs in his pockets, and he collects insects. Armed with wooden daggers and air rifles. Accident prone. Always doing something he's not supposed to do. Avery seems like a prime candidate for in-school detention and Ritalin.
This weekend, my son is going to start taking an ADHD medication that is supposed to help him control his impulsivity and focus better. When I was putting him to bed tonight, we had so much fun together. As I read him a book, he made faces and did character voices. We talked about the tooth fairy (he lost his first tooth this morning) and the pajama party he's having in school tomorrow. He's so excited. I'm afraid that this drug is going to change all that. Make that hilarious little boy disappear.
Of course, I know that my son needs a little help. His violent outbursts are like instant tornadoes. They come out of nowhere and leave a swathe of destruction. One of his teachers told us, "When it happens, he doesn't even seem to be there." There's something going on in his brain that goes beyond Avery Arable-hood. He's destroyed a tree on the school playground. He punches classmates, bites his sister's arm, and rips the glasses off my face when he loses control.
Now, I don't need to read a whole bunch of angry comments from people who don't "believe" in drug therapy or ADHD. My wife has bipolar, and her medications keep her sane and allow her to live a normal life. Drug therapy works. One of my nephews has ADHD, and, without his medication, he can't focus. He's like a fly that flits and buzzes from one thing to another. ADHD is real. It's not a matter of belief.
I just want what's best for my son. I want him to be able to play during recess without bloodshed or school detention. I want him to be a "normal" Avery. Toads and spiders and poison ivy. Hell, I'll even let him play football. As long as he's happy and not a threat to society.
And as long as Saint Marty doesn't have to sit through wrestling meets or take him deer hunting.
|So, this is normal?|