I just returned home from a glorious vacation. I saw friends and family. I lounged underneath swaying palm trees and relished the awe of a post-rain shower rainbow. I drank a glass (or two) of cold white wine in the afternoon just because. I spent time at the tranquility pool (a.k.a. the adults only pool). I got a healthy dose of Vitamin D. I laughed with my kids until I cried. I ate bacon at the breakfast buffet. I read three books. Three.

No one wanted to come home, and that declaration was made hours before we settled into the windowless last row of the airplane in seats that didn’t recline and were next to the bathroom. (Thanks, Delta!) Those seats should come with a complimentary therapy session. We didn’t know if it was day or night. The man seated in 29A next to my husband had to switch seats with his tween daughter in 28D because he was having a panic attack and at least row 28 had a window with a view of the engine. (Thanks again, Delta!) The fresh air I breathed when I stepped onto the gateway at Newark International Airport gave me a second chance at life.

The sign of a good vacation is wanting it to last forever. That said, it was nice to come home to Charmin Ultra-Soft toilet paper and my own bed. After a night of sleep, however, the rose colored-glasses through which I saw our homecoming after a week away morphed into beer goggles.

Unpacking. How many marriages dissolve over whose job it is to put away the suitcases? Asking for a friend.

Laundry. What in the fresh hell? I’m on my third load and we’ve been home for 12 hours.

Laundry. I hate myself for being such a cliché.

Laundry. #icanteven

Food. Why am I in charge of feeding these people? Why?!

Children. If I didn’t step on a half dozen Cheerios and trip over at least two pairs of dirty socks every morning, I would wonder if I were dead.

Mail. Can it be held permanently?

At least the kids will go to school tomorrow. Ugh…

School lunches. How many weeks until summer vacation?

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Let’s Talk About The Hard Stuff

I’m on Sammiches & Psych Meds today talking about something hard. ADHD.

Choosing to treat my son’s attention issues with medication is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but as with most parenting challenges, it made me a better mom and it strengthened my relationship with my child.

I wish things were different, but I also wouldn’t change a thing.

Click HERE to read the essay.

As always, thanks for your support.

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Filed under ADHD, medication, parenthood

A Special Education

Dr. V. wore a pinstripe collar shirt and a light gray tie with small brown dogs printed all over it. It matched his personality. During my son’s assessment, he laughed at his jokes and answered every one of his questions, even the silly ones.

Dr. V. spent the last 45 minutes explaining to me in depth the results of my son’s vision evaluation. Not be confused with his eyesight examination. His eyesight was fine. He didn’t need glasses. If only.

The vision evaluation unearthed some concerns. While Dr. V. described oculomotor dysfunction, loss of fixation, accommodative level and facility, exophoria, convergence insufficiency, and visual perception, my mind raced into the future.

I knew where we were headed, because we’d been there before. Vision therapy. We would spend the next six months (or more) – including the summer vacation – doing twice weekly vision therapy, and it would break my son’s heart.

“Do you have any questions?” Dr. V. asked.

How is it fair that one kid has to deal with all this crap? Do you know how many doctors, therapists, and tutors he has? He’s 10! There aren’t enough hours in the day! Will it even help? Should I just let him be? Am I ruining his childhood? Will he like reading when it’s all done? Will his handwriting be neater and his homework be less unbearable? How do I know when I’m pushing him too hard or not hard enough? Does he know how smart, kind, intuitive, brave, and imaginative he is? Will he live a happy life? Does he resent me for insisting on these interventions? Does he begrudge me for not doing more? Will it get worse or better as he ages? Is it affecting his self-esteem? Is it my fault? Why do I have to be an OT, ST, VT, SPD, ADD, IEP expert? Why can’t I just be his mom?

“Why is this so hard?” I blurted out.

Dr. V. chuckled. “No one teaches us about this stuff before we have kids,” he said. “Being a parent is a special education, isn’t it?”


Dr. V. looked about my dad’s age. His kids must’ve been grown. He’d been through the hard bits. He was incredibly patient and had a comforting vibe that gave me hope that, in the long run, everything would be okay.

Still, I wanted to climb across his desk and inhabit his body. I was desperate to see my journey from his vantage point. I ached for my future self to tell my present self  that everything would be okay.

But, just as I knew I had to persevere and do the hard work to get to the other side of vision therapy, I also understood I had to persist and do the heart-filling (and heartbreaking) work of raising my boy.

Someday, I would be on the other side. Someday, I would understand the meaning of everything’s going to be okay, but it wasn’t my turn yet. I thanked Dr. V. for his time, put my son’s name on the vision therapy waiting list, and headed home.


Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!



Filed under education, therapy