Mindy and Max- “Ain’t Life Grand” – our true life blog, 😀

about coping with ADHD, single motherhood, a slight gaming obsession and the unconditional love for your child.

It’s time once again to start talking, we’ve got lots to share. Let me explain… June 29, 2018

Seems as if time has done that thing it does and just flown by, again. I look back at my last post and I’m kinda shocked into space when I think about all that has happened the past days, months, years etc. it’s been no cake walk but it’s staggering what we’ve learned, discovered, worked through, avoided at times but always went back to, and most importantly were the problems and issues we never thought we’d ever be free from that we now watch fade away in the rear view mirror as we high tail it to “WHAT’S NEXT!!”. The journey isn’t over, and it won’t ever be, but the future has hope, excitement and possibility for Max and me and , He’ll Yeah I’ll take it!

Quick recap : My name is Mindy and I’m a 49 yr. old Single Mom of my amazing son Max, 14 yrs old and just graduated 8th grade and looking towards starting high school. Max was diagnosed at a very early age with ADHD and our drug and therapy successes and fails can be found in my early posts. Max, fingers crossed, has finally found a medication that regulates him so School is no longer such a daily agonizing struggle. And his switch to our local Public Theraputic Day School ( cough cough…it’s the AMAZING NORTH SHORE ACADEMY in Highland Park, Il. A. VERY special place, with staff that changed both Max and I’s life so much—- 😘 to you all! ) well, let’s just say we came far this year. Group therapy was successful, Max made some awesome friends and started to finally see how fantastic he is. He came alive this year,and also was ready to talk and try to heal from the thing that has emotionally and personally cobbled him for too many years now. He was ready face the Father who abandoned him and he did.

Growing up without a Dad, although from the outside he didn’t often talk about it or his feelings, but he couldn’t hide it from me. He’d always been a super, spunky happy kid. He was great in bigger groups with other kids, he was outgoing and really liked by everyone. But around 4th grade his ADHD has become more and more disregulated and hard to control. He’d have outbursts, very impulsively and harmless but kids that age can be cruel and Max was made to feel different and an outsider. Coupled with the fact that most boys his age had a Father in their lives my beautiful boy began to be convinced that he was weird, joked about by a few nasty little kids (..you know who you are. Lol) So he put 2 and 2 together in his heart and mind…”I’m a loser, no wonder my stupid Dad never calls or visits me”. He kept this to himself, for such a long time too. It started as a sadness but grew into a resentment and rage towards both his Dad AND himself that all I could do was run for cover while he erupted and start immediately to help him heal his broken heart. It wasn’t easy, I’ve got a few broken railing banisters and broken mirrors to prove it but the only broken thing I cared about fixing was Max’s broken heart. It’s been a long road to this point, and before I continue it’s time to tell you about who will be telling the rest of this story. It’s really HIS story to tell and Max has asked if he can be the one to tell it. I know it’s healing to share one’s story but Max has another reason; he wants to tell his tale hoping that other kids out there who were like him, hopeless, feeling alone and abandoned, will know that they aren’t alone. And that none of what has happened is their fault. I have never been more proud in my life, and honestly can’t believe how lucky I am to be this beautiful young man’s Mom. Life is a wild ride, and even with the low parts it’s times like this that make it worth it. 💗

So stay tuned for Max’s first blog appearance. He’s a very special kid and his struggles only make him smarter and stronger, So look out world cuz Max J has something to say….

……..to be continued. PEACE & LOVE ❤️
Mindy and Max

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From Scary Mommy April 26, 2017

Filed under: ADHD Facts & Opinions — Mindy @ 10:11 am

In the past couple of weeks, I have found myself in a few different awkward positions where I haven’t quite known what the right thing to do is. In one situation, my kid got hurt by a friend’s kid. Like struck in the head with a rock. Should I say something? It was an accident. I knew the kid felt bad.

I wanted to say something, but I never did.

Another situation did not involve my kid. But I was told that the teenage child of someone I’m not super close friends with but someone I like and see around once a week or so has been engaging in behavior that is unhealthy. And illegal. Stuff that would devastate me if I found out it was my kid.

What should I do?

Should I say something? Or stay out of it? I know if it were me, in both those scenarios, I would want to know. I think many of us moms find ourselves in these situations, not knowing whether we should speak up or not.

So I’m going to make it crystal clear:

If my kid whips a rock and hits your kid in the head, I want you to tell me.

Whether or not it was an accident.

If my kid talks to you disrespectfully, I want you to tell me.

If my kid is doing drugs, I want you to tell me.

If you see my kid in a place you think he or she might not have permission to be, I want you to tell me.

If you hear my kid is doing drugs, even if you aren’t positive it’s true, I want you to tell me.

If you think my kid might have gotten shitfaced at a party but aren’t positive that’s true either, I want you to tell me.

If you know my kid has lied to me about something, I want you to tell me.

If my kid is being a bully, I want you to tell me.

If my kid is not being a bully but is just being a general asshole, I want you to tell me.

If you know my kid is having sex with someone, I want you to tell me.

If my kid is using really inappropriate language around other children, I want you to tell me.

If I have a visible booger in my nose, I want you to tell me.

If there is a big, black hair sticking out of my neck or my chin or any other part of my body above my waist (or below for that matter), I want you to tell me.

If my kid is hanging out with a drug addict or a drug dealer or a prostitute or a convicted felon or someone who is more than three years older than he is, I want you to tell me.

If my kid is doing shit on the computer that you wouldn’t want your kid to do, I want you to tell me.

 

If there is something going on that isn’t on this list and you are torn between telling me and not telling me, I want you to tell me.

And if you want to inform me of any of the things on this list but aren’t sure how to start, just say:

Remember that time you said if your kid was being an asshole you wanted me to tell you? Well…

 

Oh yeah! I used to blog about stuff….it’s a bit fuzzy but it’s slowly coming back to me….. April 12, 2017

Yeah. Let’s be honest here and call a spade a spade. Or better yet, call an overworked, socially comatosed and frazzled single mom what she truly is. A basket case. BUT a basket case with potential! Hell, gotta keep it positive or this basket becomes too comftorable.

It’s April 2017. A crazy amount of time has passed since I last graced these pages with mine and Max’s story and what has occured during our “sabatical” has been epic, terryfying, beautiful, at times horrifying but always a gift. Ive learned so much, ive CHANGED so much and now I’m ready to write it down. This is not going to be easy, there are things I dont want to tell, mistakes made that Id love to lock away and not share. But, as most writers discover when telling their own personal sagas, the story needs to be purged from inside me. I need to cathartically get the shit out. Hopefully I can help someone who may be going through what I did. I hope my recent struggles wont have to be yours, and that we can all find love and hope. Thanks for being here, love you all. Now, time to get started……

 

The Other Guy April 9, 2014

Filed under: ADHD Facts & Opinions — Mindy @ 4:18 am

On May 21, 2004 (almost 10 years ago) my life began a new chapter, I  took the road less traveled and it’s been a helluva ride since day one. On that day almost 10 years ago I gave birth, something I never thought I’d ever have the chance to do, and the moment that boy and I met eyes I have been a mother. MOTHER. A hugely overused but under appreciated word that is given away too freely. But the gifting of the word MOM doesn’t come close to the blatant kidnapping and molestation of the word “Father” by men better off described as a DNA Donation Wagon. My son has started to refer to this person as “the other guy“. Max doesn’t talk about the other guy at all, which drives me a bit crazy because I am the kind of girl who wants things opened up and fixed. His therapist says that he will talk when he is ready, but I can’t shake this feeling that because this other guy is a quitter there now exists a  hole in my son’s heart that can’t ever be filled by me no matter how hard I try. I am so angry, so resentful at this other guy for what he is doing to my kid that it is eating me up.  But, I read the books and I follow the advice of others who tell me to purge these feeling elsewhere, to be honest with Max but to let Max find out for himself what kind of man this other guy is. I’ve tried for 10 years to get the other guy to see what his actions (or lack of them) have been doing to my son but it falls on deaf ears. I can’t fathom the kind of person who would abandon and neglect a child who so obviously needs him. I am ashamed I once loved someone like that. This is the letter I hope my son will write one day, it’s what I hope he feels in his heart.

002

       Dear Other Guy,

 I forgive you. I just want you to know that. We haven’t spoken since I was 15 and I haven’t really missed you either. That’s because I have the most amazing family ever. You know my Papa,  the one who always wiped my tears when you were’t there.  The one with the kind face and the blue eyes and the best smile ever.

I know you were not ready to be a dad and that your parents ruined your chances of ever knowing what a child might need so it’s ok that you weren’t there.  I forgive you.  All those years we never saw each other. But it’s ok because by you not being there you gave me the chance to have the best Mom, Papa and family ever. 

It’s funny because I don’t hate you, people presume I do and say that I should. But the funny thing is they don’t even know about you unless I tell them because I don’t talk about you. I don’t have resentment towards you because I never really needed you.

If  I saw you now, I wouldn’t have much to say to you because we really don’t have much in common.  I would say “I’m sorry”,  I’m sorry you missed my high school graduation,  sorry you missed my first girlfriend and didn’t get to see me get into MIT to study my passion of architecture which you didn’t even know I had,  I’m  sorry you didn’t get to go to Florida and see Micky mouse with me when I was a kid, I’m sorry you missed every birthday party I ever had. I’m sorry you weren’t there to see me become a Bar Mitzvah. I’m sorry you didn’t get a scan picture when my wife and I found out we were having our own little boy. I’m sorry for all the fathers days and holidays and birthdays you missed because you would of loved them. Because I know now..that  you needed us more than we needed you.

But you weren’t there  and I might never get the chance to see you or say these words to you. That’s why I am writing this to you now. 

You chose to be an absent parent. That is why I don’t call you Dad. That’s why you will always be known as the other guy.

It’s good to be back writing again. Max wants to become a part of this journey and I can’t wait for you all to hear his story, in his own words.  He is a true miracle. God bless you all –    Mindy

 

Who is ready to hear my bloggish thoughts and feelings again? April 4, 2014

Filed under: ADHD Facts & Opinions,adhd kids — Mindy @ 3:53 am

Its April 2014, Max is almost 10 years old and much has happened, much has changed and there is much to talk about. I hope there is someone still out there listening..actually, scrap that. It doesn’t matter if there isn’t a soul tuning in. I am writing now for me. I am writing now for Max. Time to get to work again. Stay tuned for more of The Max & Mindy Show, brought to you with love and devotion. Peace!

 

My inability to accept “disability” July 12, 2012

A few weeks before school ended this year I had my “end of the year” meeting with Max’s team at school, a fantastic group of teachers, math and reading specialists and the school social worker. This was to just discuss his school year, his progress & challenges and how to proceed into 3rd grade to make sure he has the extra help he needs to keep on this very positive ride up the learning ladder. In a side note: South Park Elementary in Deerfield, and especially Max’s teacher Ms. Heather Williams, are my dream team. I love you all for what you gave Max this year: you gave him back his courage, his positive attitude and you taught him that it’s okay to make mistakes. Bravo, Ladies. Bravo.

BUT…back to me.

Because up until that meeting something has been bothering me and this just happened to be the moment in time when it came to a head. It’s a problem I have with a word. One word. And that word is “disability”.

<strong>Webster’s English Dictionary defines the word disability as the following:

dis·a·bil·i·tee

1. Lack of adequate power, strength, or physical or mental ability;  incapacity.

2. a physical or mental handicap, especially one that prevents a person from living a full, normal life or from holding a gainful job.

Now here is what really got me going…when this dictionary started to list the synonyms for the word disability:

Synonyms: disqualification, incompetence, incapability, impotence. Disability, inability  imply a lack of power or ability. A disability  is some disqualifying deprivation or loss of power, physical or other: excused because of a physical disability; a temporary disability. Inability  is a lack of ability, usually because of an inherent lack of talent or power. WTF!!!!~

WTF! I ask you and all who are reading this! And it is this that sat at the forefront of my mind when we began our year review about my son, Max. The term “learning disability” was used only once when I shouted out a “Hey, stop please” to the group and made my stand. I said “It would be in Max’s best interest, and in all of ours as well, if we can just strike that word “disability” out of it’s miserable existence and replace it with “learning DIFFERENCES”. Not every kid learns in the same way, weather they have ADD/ADHD, SPD, OCD, ODD, Autism or just a bad tooth ache. These are unique kids who each have a different way of getting the information “in”, and the longer we call it a “learning disability” the longer it is going to take them to overcome such a stigmatized and potentially harmful word and get on to the good stuff..the learning. I, for one, never have nor ever will consider my child “Incompetent, incapable, disqualified or dis-able to do anything in the world he sets his mind to do. Max was born to do great things with his life and an old fashioned, dated and ugly word like “disability” will not stand in his way.

Now, can we move on with life now?

Go hug your kids now.

 

When your KICK ASS KID is getting his ass kicked…..you kick back, Mama. April 28, 2012

You see it a lot in kids living with ADD/ADHD other learning or social differences…low self esteem and lack of confidence. I see it in my beautiful son, and as a Mom it is heartbreaking. Without dealing with the issue quickly can lead to much more serious concerns for our little guys like depression and even worse. It’s hard enough being a kid, but add to mix that you may act a bit different at times and have a harder time with things at school considered “simple” to other classmates (like staying in your seat, completing an assignment or even just refraining from spontaneously breaking into his impression of Freddie Mercury singing Fat Bottomed Girls) and your kid becomes a target. He may become the “weirdo” or he may become the “class clown”. Either way he gets singled out and the label is hard to shake.

My boy takes everything so personally, he is so sensitive and I love him for that. But, every time he disrupts the class with an impulsive word or action cause by Mr. Jumpy (something, mind you, he cannot control) he feels more and more like he is “stupid, always doing everything wrong and/or always the one getting in trouble”. This has been beating him down harder that anything ADHD has thrown at us so far. There is nothing worse than hearing the words “I can’t do anything, I am so stupid and no one likes me” from your child’s lips.

My son has been having some issues at school but it’s getting better every day. He is on a magic streak right now and practically on fire at school, just having amazing days that we used to dream about. I signed him up for a few after school enrichment programs at school, just 2 days a week. They were fun sounding classes ( “Sharks and Dangers Of The Deep”, and “Tennis”). We are 3 weeks into the session and yesterday I made the decision to allow Max to ( insert GASP!) QUIT the programs. Yes, I am letting him drop out and quit, something, which I have tried so hard to teach him NOT too do. Max’s days at school are very long, and very hard. And, even though he is on his medication, which does wonders all day long, by 3:30 that Vyvanse is starting to end it’s work day and go home. So during his after school classes Mr. Jumpy starts to poke his head out and say “Whazzzaup!!!, time to get this party started!”. As you can guess,he is misbehaving but nothing outrageous, just typical Mr. Jumpy high jinx. The instructors (I won’t call them teachers because I am so angry and want to blatantly dis them because revenge feels good sometimes), these instructors don’t seem to know much about ADHD and how to deal with it in a classroom setting. Max is getting disciplined, reprimanded, punished with not being able to participate and not getting prizes when the whole class does, and..wait for it…was called STUPID in front of the other kids. Don’t get me started on the last one.

The point is, my boy is excelling all day long in school, where every day he starts to believe in himself more and more and hearing him say “I can’t do anything right!” has become a thing of the past. So, to then go into a situation where he is back to being the kid who constantly gets yelled at is counter productive to what his teachers, therapists and myself are trying to do. Which is show Max that he is a KICK ASS FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH!

So, we quit.

I want Max, and all his life experiences big or small, to reaffirm to him his awesomeness. And I want everything that goes on at his school (which is pretty kick ass as well) to remain positive and peaceful. We must be our child’s spiritual advocate as well as champions. I never thought I would let my kid quit a class or activity because I was always against what I thought he would learn from doing it, that if something gets a little hard…just quit. But, this time is different, this time we quit with purpose and won’t look back. As adults we try to surround ourselves with people and friends who have positive healthy influences on our lives. We MUST do the same for our kids. Know who the instructors of your children’s after school activities are, know their philosophies and experience teaching these gifted and special kids. Ask questions, raise hell if need be to keep the fire stoked inside your amazing kids heart so they never forget the KICK ASS FORCE they can and always will be.

Now get out there and kick some ass. May the force be with you.