humorous look at life with a child with attention deficit hyperactivity.
I save everything. I think saving too much is a disorder in its own right,
but I don't know what the technical term is. However, even dedicated pack
rats like me have to throw some things out occasionally.
I just watched the garbage man drive away with enough broken parts to
pay for a ten day, all expenses paid, fun-in-the-sun vacation in Hawaii
for two. Those of you who live with children who are hyperactive or who
have attention deficit disorder will have no problem understanding what
I'm trying to say here. You probably have your own lost vacation.
My oldest, who has a diagnosis of high functioning autistic, has also
been diagnosed at one time or the other as ADD/hyperactive. She's eight
years old now, so we've accumulated quite an impressive "collection"
over the years. There are at least three pairs of cracked, scratched or
broken contact lenses, thirteen tangled or broken necklaces, eight or
ten containers with eye shadow that had been used as water colors and
one broken figurine of a Doberman that my sister paid a bundle for. There
are also four or five pairs of panty hose that were transformed into puppets
before ever being worn, eighteen single socks, twenty-seven mutilated
earrings, six boxes of broken crayons and fourteen unwound audio cassettes.
Not to mention the 35 millimeter camera that she washed, or the brand
new box of computer disks with the pancake syrup on them. Let's not forget
the baby doll parts, the broken vases, the tom sheets or the cut up books
If I had thrown all this stuff out as it was destroyed, it wouldn't seem
such an enormous amount, but I always meant to fix it or find alternate
uses for the "halves". But somehow, I never got around to doing
Even as I watch the garbage truck drive away, I catch a glimpse of my
daughter swinging from the clothes line in my backyard. Hawaii would be
nice, but she is worth it all. I haven't had to repaint any rooms for
the last year. (Probably because all the magic markers have been destroyed.)
The sound of breaking glass is heard less often and the progress she has
made is remarkable.
Maybe I should encourage the artwork. She may grow up to be a famous artist
and she may send me to Hawaii one day.
Pat Linkhorn was an advocate/trainer/information
specialist with the Ohio Coalition for the
Education of Children with Disabilities.. She is also an experienced parent
and has two girls with special needs - autism and blindness due to prematurity. She is the author of Off the Fence : Disability Advocacy