Queen of the Distracted

Imagine life in a house with 6 kids - now imagine if 5 of those kids and their father have ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - that is our house! Welcome to an inside view of my life and our home dominated by ADHD... THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!"

Those were our oldest daughter Rachel's first words, from the time she was a toddler she would belt them out proudly standing on the arm of the couch. At the time we had no idea what ADHD was or that it would play such a central roll in our lives.

Since then we have learned a lot, not the least of which is how many individuals and families suffer in silence. We have experienced first hand how misunderstood and misrepresented a disorder can be.

As a family we decided to take action - to risk embarrassment and labeling to get this important message out to the world. Come join our family, share in our lives, and see ADD/ADHD as we see it...
A gift with a heavy price tag.

WELCOME to life in the ADD/ADHD House!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What Goes Around - The Return of Morse Code

My in-laws asked for Christmas lists for all the kids, they live out of town and don't get to see the kids that often.  Some lists were reasonable - some, well, not reasonable at all. One daughter asked for one of her favorite musicians for Christmas - grandma asked, "like a doll or poster?" Daughter answered, "No, I want the actual artist." Grandma went with option B, fluffy blue towel.

Some gave totally reasonable list unless you're a grandparent with a limited knowledge of the truly important things in life like Dr. Who.  Then you might end up in the tool department trying to figure out why there is no section for Sonic Screwdrivers. I know they were there and asking because they called from the tool department in Wal-Mart, a little confused and frustrated.

So, when my freshman in high school opened his present from his grandparents to find a light up moon that had a remote control allowing you to change the lighting to show the stages of the lunar cycle I really had no idea what he was going to do with it.  It wasn't Dr. Who related, or Lord of the Rings, or Star Wars, or Transformers.  It had nothing to do with mid-evil armor, or fantasy, or poetry, and writing. It really had nothing to do with any of his obsessions - past or present. He was great though - said he loved it, gave thank yous, hugs, and kisses. 

Later he would tell me he has totally accepted the fact that he's a pack rat/hoarder because he can find a use for anything and everything.  This, he pointed out, makes everything worth keeping. By everything, he means everything, as in every item of clothes he's ever worn, old shoes (one time he told me he couldn't part with his old shoes, they'd been with him every step of the way), every piece of paper from school or play...everything.

It shouldn't have been a surprise to me when he came barreling into the living room the next morning where I was sitting with his grandparents and his little brother.  He flopped the moon down on the floor and announced he had found the perfect place to hang it in there room so they could both see it from their bunk beds.  He then proceeded to ask Jaren if he was ready and started blinking the moon rapidly flashing short and long beams of light.

And there you have it - Morse code comes flying back into our lives.  

Several years ago we read a wonderful series of books as a family called The Mysterious Benedict Society.  Wonderfully unique characters use their various skills and abilities to work together to save their world.  When in dire circumstances they would use Morse Code and a flash light to communicate.  Our house was on a Morse Code kick for months.  Tapping it on tables, flash lighting it to each other, they even sent emails entirely in Morse Code. (- . - - - - . - - - - - . . - - . - . . - - . - - - . - - . - - - . - - . - . - - . Morse Code For, “No! You Can’t Make Me!”)  I have yet to find an obsession in our house that actually goes away and never returns.  If anything they get back burner-ed for awhile only to resurface to center stage for a bit before disappearing for a bit again.

So, here we are 3 or 4 years later, the day after Christmas, the boys went nuts.  They were writing out the messages they wanted to send to each other, passing the moon remote back and forth, laughing and moving in a total ADHD pace of excitement and joy.  My in-laws sat in awe, speechless.  Then after a blur of activity, a Morse code frenzy, my father-in-law blinked a couple of time and asked, "Where did you learning Morse Code?"  Hunter was too busy and completely wrapped up in his own universe.

He blurted, as if the answer was obvious, "Wikipedia."  A couple of minutes went by the he froze mid-sentence and screamed, "BINARY CODE! I have to learn it."  and ran off.

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What obsessions take center stage at your house? We'd love to hear from you!

1 comment:

Jason Villegaz said...

Even if 1300 Numbers and other modern communication tools are already developed, Morse Codes are still in use.