I should really blog more because I feel like I have a lot of things going on that others can relate to and if I can help one parent feel as though they are not alone in the struggles of having a child with anxiety, ADHD, ODD, etc., then I think it's worth it to take a few minutes to just type out my story.
My last post was in March and a lot has gone on since then - both of the boys ended their school years successfully, the boys played on the same baseball team for the first time ever (and probably the last), we have gone on a family vacation, there have been lots of celebrations, and tons of summer fun! There have also been moments of sheer frustration, tears, temper tantrums, calls to apologize to people that Logan wasn't kind to, and times when I have talk myself off of the "parenting ledge". Logan's diagnoses and treatments have certainly helped ease the frustrations of parenting a child with Logan's "quirks", however it doesn't mean that there aren't those moments that I haven't prepared myself for when Logan has a meltdown.
We are getting ready to go into a new school year and I feel like we are armed this year with everything we need to have a successful year. We met with Logan's teacher at the end of the school year and talked to her a bit so that she and Logan are both prepared for what is in store. I think back to last summer and it was about this time when some unusual behaviors began to surface in Logan and knowing what I know now, I know it was from anxiety. This year we are armed with a few counseling appointments before school begins and I know that will help him walk into school on that first day with less anxiety than he would normally have.
The baseball season was a rough one - whew! Having both boys on the same team worked out great schedule-wise, however the boys struggle to really get along because of Logan's anxious/worry-wart/slightly Type-A nature and Noah's free-spirit/go with the flow/laid back nature. And we had a real contrast in ball-players this year - a few with lots of experience and a lot with little experience. The boys had fun.....but there were moments when Logan who is ultra-competitive lost it and I found myself using all of the things I learned in counseling to calm him down.
What I find a lot of the time is that when he is getting upset he can calm himself down, however, when a coach or a parent or even a teammate says something harsh - he loses it. I see it happening and it's like the moment before I can stop it from happening a word/a phrase/a negative comment is made and "BAM" - he's spiraling downward. The thing I noticed this year is that when those break-downs happened I was more prepared and so calm about it, where as in the past I was embarrassed, frustrated, angry, etc. Counseling has really been good for all of us.....it helps Logan calm himself down and it helps us to be the best parents we can be for Logan and Noah.
There is a stigma of parenting a child with a personality like Logan's - I'm learning to have tougher skin, but when he has a melt-down and says something to a coach or a teammate that isn't kind and others look at you like it's your fault, that is tough to take. But I'm finding out that no parent/child/marriage/friendship/etc., is perfect and you should never judge others when you yourself are not perfect. This year has definitely been one where I've learned so much about relationships and about why other people do things they do. And I've learned a lot about living your life out loud and not living your life for others.
I find that Logan and I have a wonderfully functional relationship amongst all of the dysfunction. I understand him more now than ever, and I look back at the years of frustration, tears, pain and wish I had known how to calm both he and I down in those moments of sheer anxiety. But I know now and we're moving forward. Please note that not every day is perfection - one minute he's telling me that I'm such a wonderful mommy and the next minute he "hates" me.....we're a work in progress!! ha!
This new school year brings new beginnings for our children and I'm looking forward to them. Logan is going to play football and was told that he will wear his dad's number (#33) this season and he is really proud of that. My brother will be one of his coaches and I know that he's going to look out for Logan's best interests and all of the coaches in the football program are really positive and the kids learn a lot about life/teamwork/being the best you as well as football. I can't wait to see what this year brings for our little family.