Excellent Eight

Dear Rerun,

We have just wrapped up your first “kid” birthday party at Pump It Up, and you told me that “this was so awesome.”

“What part?” I asked.

“All of it.”

I really don’t feel adequate to trying to explain the changes of this last year (but it might be because I got a late email from your teacher telling me that no one in your class has allergies, so I can send in whatever treat you choose for your birthday, so I’ve been baking a double batch of gingersnaps – your choice – before bedtime and after this party), but I feel like your birthday letter is the best place to give it a shot.

Summer camp was a great thing for you.  It was also a great thing for me, because I finally got some parenting help in an ADHD support group.  Between that and camp, it really began to change how we deal with your ADHD (oh, and you got diagnosed with ODD as well this year – you are a regular alphabet soup).  It also began a new journey for us, as you were accepted into a medication study at Seattle Children’s (where you are now on a first-name basis with one of the psychiatrists, thanks to camp), and we spent lots of time and effort getting you assessed and then beginning a clinical blind trial of currently available medication to see if it had a positive effect on you.  The goal of the study was “smallest dosage for maximum effect.”

To make a long story short (because this took three months), the meds have a positive effect.  The best way to describe its effect on you is to say that it lengthens the fuse of your temper.  What was once a hair-trigger is now… not.  Between meds and behavioral modifications that we all learned at summer camp, I can say with great confidence that you are having a far more successful school experience than ever before.

That’s not to say that school has been perfect – and we were all deeply disappointed when you were made to change schools for the third year in a row, thanks to a district decision.  I know how much you had grown to love your school, and your teachers – and how much they care about you.  (They care about you so much that they have continued to check in on you via Facebook and visited you socially.)  But hopefully that will be the final change for a few years, and you can put down some roots and feel more at ease.  You have also been blessed with a one-on-one para who is invested in your success, and is the Jiminy Cricket to your Pinocchio.  I don’t know what will happen next school year, but I am going to do everything I can to make sure you continue to be successful.

Which leads us to last night – the first time you have invited your entire class at school to a birthday party.  Eleven of your classmates showed up, and it was a wild and crazy time.  It was chaos, but that’s why we had it at Pump It Up.  Chaos and jumping and running around like crazy people is their stock-in-trade.  I know you had a great time, even with the mob scene when you opened presents, and the feeding frenzy that happens with 7 and 8 year olds are given pizza.

You were the happiest kid ever.

Keep being happy, Rerun.  You are so incredibly bright and capable, you might just end up using your powers for good if you can just keep a positive attitude.  I love you more than you can possibly understand, even when I tell you “no” and hand out consequences.  I do that because I love you, and because I want to make you liveable for other people who don’t love you like I do.

But you have so, so many people who love you.  You are quite the charming little rogue.

So, happy 8th birthday (your “golden” birthday!), my too-clever-for-his-own-good, Angry Birds and science obsessed smarty pants.  I love you with all the snuggles in the world.


One Response to “Excellent Eight”

  1. Nana
    March 15th, 2018 09:40

    Dad & I enjoyed the “growing pictures” today and read this text. He is blessed to have so many love him, and the little smarty blesses us in return.