Yes, you haven’t heard from me in awhile. That might be a good thing.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks. I feel like a dried gourd, all scraped and hollow on the inside, but still round on the outside.
The last thing I wanted to do this week was accompany seventy-five second graders to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Well, obviously it wasn’t the last thing I wanted to do. My bathrooms still need cleaning.
But Monkey wanted me to go with him, and I thought, before long he’ll be begging me not to go with him because I’ll embarrass him in front of his friends.
So I went.
It. Was. Exhausting!
The second graders were “hunting” animals, which meant they had to buy a license for a certain animal, find the animal (this involved lots of stairs), then once they’d “caught” their quarry, they had to fill out a bunch of paperwork. I don’t know about you, but I’m thirty-one and I hate paperwork. Asking over-excited eight-year-olds to find information on a museum placard and transpose it into a report using complete sentences is like asking a Chihuahua to read the nightly news.
Poor Monkey with his ADHD (Advanced and Dedicated Hooligan Disorder) was really out of his element. But his team—three other classmates, one other mom and myself—hung in there and ended up winning the most prize money for our hunt.
If you have any experience with ADHD kids, you know that their thinking processes can be mystifying. For instance, the team had chosen to hunt a tree kangaroo. We found the right exhibit and were attempting to extrapolate the information we needed. Monkey appeared to be off in La La Land, hanging on the edge of the group and barely attending to the task. The team was trying to list the distinguishing characteristics of the tree kangaroo, when out of nowhere Monkey says, “It has a long tail and sharp claws.”
My eyes bulged. Up until that moment I thought my child was far away in his own world where life is an endless video game and someone is always there to bring you snacks. But instead he was thinking about the assignment, making good observations, and—miracle of miracles—paying attention.
Yesterday I got another completely unexpected surprise from Monkey. It seems that while I’ve been thinking about how tired and drained I am and how I really don’t want to do extra things for my family right now, he’s been thinking, well, this…
I love you
You are the best mom ever
So you love me and you make me happy.
You’re the true mom I could ever have
So why won’t you be mine
You are so pretty and beautiful
So that is why I wrote this poem for you
Wow! I am full and overflowing. And so unworthy.
The Writer Who Speaks
3 days ago