I am healing. I realized as I savasana’ed in yoga last week. As I lay on the floor relaxing after my yoga session, I felt happy and calm—then startled. Wow, I felt happy and calm. For the last four years, as I have savasana’ed and my yogis have told me to unwind, empty my mind, and let go of stress, I have lain on the floor struggling to pacify myself. Instead of emptying my mind, I was agonizing over the ordeals of the day, anguishing over my kids’ unruly and strange behavior, berating myself for my poor reactions and losing my temper, wondering if their constant fighting was in any way normal for siblings, pondering how I could make things better, worrying about what was going on at school, questioning whether they could ever make and keep friends. So much for meditation. I have not been able to empty my mind and relax for years.
But last week, I relaxed. I thought about how great my life is. How I love my husband and my kids. How I have an amazing extended family and wonderful friends. How the world is beautiful, and how I’ve had the chance to enjoy it in so many ways. Then I just emptied my mind and rested. Quite a miracle for me.
As I mentioned, it took me years to get to this place. I have learned patience and how to let go of those things that don’t matter. I have let go of who I thought my kids would be and who I wanted them to be and allowed them to be themselves. I have focused on the positive aspects of ADHD in my spouse and kids and been amazed by their abilities. I have set boundaries with my spouse and kids and realized that I need to take care of myself, too. We have found medications that work, for the most part, and accepted that they cannot obliterate the symptoms of ADHD but can alleviate them. We have found fantastic teachers who understand and appreciate our kids. The kids are in a great school. They attend “Friends” class once a week for help with social skills. They meet with the school psychologists individually and together to talk through issues and work on behaviors and getting along with each other. It has been a long journey, but I have learned a lot. That seems to be how I always feel when I have reached the summit of a long, arduous trail. It is nice to have a rest at the top for a moment or two.
But I feel like what I have learned is a great blessing. My kids are helping me understand all kids. I have a soft spot in my heart for the goofballs, eccentrics, bullies, ants-in-their-pants kids. I go into my kids’ school every week and read with students. I love hearing about Sam’s vacuum fetish. Five-year-old Mackenzie cracks me up with her fashion critiques and her constant asking if I want to see her do her name in sign language. Dallas brings out my sympathy when he tells me he hits because his dad says he needs to be tougher. I also teach kids at church. When I learned I had a child in my class who could not sit still and who had difficulty communicating, I thought “Why me? I’m dealing with my own kid issues all week long.” But when I got to know this kid, I just loved him. And when he realized I loved him, he responded to me. They just need to know you love them.
Our life is still messy and crazy. That’s just the way life is. But it is also amazing and joyful. That’s the way life is, too.