An earlier time

An earlier time
My autographed "Bobby Seale" copy

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Time For Introspection

As events have unfolded in New Orleans I have taken extra time to examine the importance of many areas of life here with the lions. All of a sudden picking up after themselves, making more of a mess than necessary, keeping certain time schedules, and matching clothes properly didn't seem to matter much. You see whole neighborhoods on the news flooded to the rooftops and you realize that the day before Hurricane Katrina hit that many households too put emphasis on all those things. The big difference being that many of those people not only lost their homes but the lives of family members. You can't help but look at your children and your life differently. Except for the grace of God.....
I took the time this morning before getting the boyz ready for school to sit them down and have them reflect too. I explained to them that if we had lived in New Orleans we'd most likely wouldn't have made it and they should be so very thankful of being where they are and having all they do. I try to use every opportunity to get them to be appreciative of each other because there may come a day when each other is all they have. Tragedy should cause that kind of introspection in people who place importance on virtue. It's just that sometimes we tend to prioritize our lives improperly and it takes an occurrence of this sort to steer us back the right way. The stories unfolding are heartbreaking and some scenarios you'd never have thought of. For example, think of the members of the armed forces overseas in Iraq. There they are, putting their lives in danger, believing that their families are safe back home and then finding out that they now have no home to come back to and are unable to determine if those families are even alive. All the more reason to end the garbage heap we are in over there and get our people back here.
There's not much of a positive feeling in my heart today but I have taken positive action...I have prayed and taken the time for introspection...Love to all...Jeff

Monday, August 29, 2005

Bad Examples Aren't Always Bad

Until recently I struggled with setting a good example for my children and was distraught at the times when genetics and my own human tendencies caused me to give them a bad example. I felt to teach them the right way I had to be the perfect example of that right way. The truth of the matter is that people are all very different and possess also different morals with which to deal with the world they encounter. I can never hope, no matter what my beliefs, to deal with situations in the same manner as Gandhi would. This would only be possible if all the factors in human existence were the same. Environmental, social, physiological, and psychological differences all cause reactions to stimuli to be handled differently as well. No human handles every situation perfectly and I am no exception. Making mistakes is a very human thing that happens and children need to be aware that they too will make them even as adults. That is not to say that I intentionally make mistakes for that purpose, only that I have come to terms with the fact that I have and will make them. In this manner sometimes a bad example becomes a good example.
My father was a case in point. He is considered to this day be a recovering alcoholic. At the height of his disease he exhibited a host of undesirable reactions to the world around him which adversely effected his family. I won't elaborate on them individually. I saw what was happening to him and through his bad example I became determined not to let the same thing happen to me. From his example I can teach my children from firsthand information which bears more authority than experiences of people unknown to them.
In my case, those times that I have been a bad example have aided in my growth as well, only if I worked at changing it into a positive.
My son Lennon's behavior at school used to get worse once he made that first mistake of the day. He was under the impression that he had disappointed me and I would consider him bad for the day so he continued the misbehavior. It took a great deal of work to convince him that one bad incident (or even a couple!) didn't ruin the entire day. I had to show him that he must start over after the bad incident and work at making the remainder good. Since bad can't always be avoided many things must be figured on a percentage basis. If the bigger percentage is good then he shouldn't consider the whole to be bad. Bless his heart! That is one way that ADHD children slip into feelings of low self-esteem. Many of them have parents who lack the understanding to show the ADHD child that his natural tendencies and his occasional giving into his impulses do not make him a bad person. Likewise I had to first convince myself that I was not a bad person because I set a bad example, only my failure to acknowledge it and correct it would label me as such. Love to all...Jeff

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Weekends

I used to love weekends...well, actually I still do to a certain extent but with the kids home ALL summer there ought to be a law that forces schools to be in session for the first 6 weekends too. Since there isn't I can only escape to the above pictured place in my mind...and rarely can I picture the above without it bursting into flames before being thrust into my referee or riot control job!
With ADHD children, structure is very closely related to parental sanity. Anything that disrupts the normal routine has the potential for magnifying the symptoms of the disorder. When this happens the day can go from enjoyable to a living hell in a matter of minutes. Parents that care spend a lot of thought as to how to structure the ADHD child's free time and still allow it to remain "free". It's always a good idea to sit them down and outline the plan for the day. Always keep in mind that you must take care not to detail too much at one time or you will find yourself repeating constantly. The first 2 letters of the disorder stand for "attention deficit" so you really can't expect too much here. Sometimes though I am amazed at how well they handle plan outlines. I am blessed...well or cursed (matter of opinion!) with having 2 kids that have 2 different types of ADHD. I have one child that is the MOST hyperactive-impulsive type and one that is not as hyperactive but consumed with the inattentive type. Couple that with 2 very different personalities and perhaps you can imagine the work involved in structuring anything. I must first forgo any thoughts I may have had as to my own rest and relaxation. Doing this right (or as close to right as I can get) is a time consuming process. These guys left to their own devices for any extended period of time could have you searching frantically for tranquilizer darts to use on them or yourself!
Teachers may have a difficult time with children of any type but with so many things going on to shift the attention of an ADHD child their problem is mainly in proper focusing. I do not envy their job but on the weekends I become the abused and that makes every precious moment I spend at my "lake" like a vacation!...Love to all...Jeff

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Thought Begets Wisdom Begets Depression

My favorite books in the Bible are Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. No matter who is credited with the authorship the majority of thought contained therein appears to be that of Solomon. Gotta love this guy to a point! God gives him whatever he asks for and he asks for wisdom. Looks like he was already pretty wise! Wisdom should be the quest for all humans empowered with more than a primal mind. One must have the opportunity to reflect in order to understand what is observed. Observation followed by reflection oft times becomes very disturbing when applied to humans because of predictability. Our creator certainly was wise himself in not endowing the human race with the power of divine clairvoyance. How depressing it would be to be able to foretell with 100 % accuracy the outcome of the actions of men! In spite of that power there would be those that would carry on with the same course of action all the while knowing that the outcome will be disastrous at best.
I am nowhere near the top of the wisdom ladder and many is the time that I curse the window I look through. When I take the time to read what some people have written I can feel their frustration at trying to make sense of it all. In a previous post I stated that John Lennon was one of those people. Consider the following statement;"I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right." Here Thoreau sets himself up for medication in observing the human race on both sides of that cultivation, and indeed he is wise enough to realize that the law and right at times are not in sync.
There is a positive side to the quest for wisdom, nay, there are several positive aspects. There is satisfaction, in the conclusion of the truth no matter what that truth may be. There is hope, that in understanding, wisdom can bring about positive changes, and joy as wisdom appears where skepticism once reigned.
Alas! Round we go! Wise as he was, Solomon should have heeded his own wisdom, for his actions divided a kingdom. Perhaps I need my medication now!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Enjoy It While You Can

In spite of the difficulties in raising ADHD kids I look back at the last 10 years and they have passed so very quickly. I seem to be the type of person that always has to have something to worry about. That in itself is strange because it's been said that there is never anything to worry about. The things you worry about that can be acted on should be so. The things that are out of your control as such do not merit worrying about in the first place. I see how quickly 10 years have passed and I think of it only being 8 more years until my youngest son reaches 18 and I worry, not so much about them but myself. At the outside chance that I survive 8 more rapidly disappearing years I may possibly find myself alone and though I fear little, I fear that. With the shape of the country, even the world, perhaps the boyz will need to stay with me much longer than that so my worry may be moot. Amazing isn't it? There are times when I have pulled out what is left of my hair and screamed aloud of not being able to wait for the day they go out on their own. Honestly though, I secretly pray that the day never come. Enjoy it while you can! Time is an enemy.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Do What Must Be Done

I am in a unique position. Not many fathers have an opportunity to raise their children on their own. Rarer still are the fathers from that category that are able to spend the amount of time with their children that I have been awarded. Being encompassed by them at this stage of their lives, I used to struggle with attempting to maintain a life of my own and still fulfill my obligation to them. That was all wrong and it took me a long time to discover the truth. Let's face it, my kids are my life, and from ages 1-12 (at a minimum) I must center everything around them. That's why computers are so great! You have the library of the world at your fingertips. I have the boyz to sit beside me each day as we learn something new and interesting. I have invested a great deal of time searching and trying different programs and websites. I now have enough interesting things to keep them busy forever. Homework time is my time to teach and is a fun time IF you utilize the tools you have. Life works out the same way.
Raising children you must understand that being a child is adult training and as much as they are learning to be children, I am learning to be a parent. I am never satisfied with at least 2 things in my life. I am never satisfied in considering myself a good parent and I am never satisfied in considering myself as an asset to my creator. I am always working on both trying to achieve perfection all the while knowing that I never will. I just keep doing what must be done. Love to all, Jeff

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Price to Pay for Everything Good!

I believe it!...Here everything comes with a price!...The last 2 days building up to the first day of school for "The Wrecking Crew" were very calm and the boyz were putting forth a great effort. I have noticed that over the summer they have matured a great deal. Strange isn't it? Nine months of school, nine months of other adult influences, nine months of observing their classmates and friends (both mature and immature), and they end up maturing more in 2 and 1/2 months of playing, fighting, and paying no noticeable attention to anything worthwhile. Ah! humans...such complex creatures! On my home planet we sleep for the equivalent of 2 1/2 months and spend the remainder of the year foraging for chocolate. My planet is much less stressful too which accounts for my suffering here. I am hopeful for returning home one day but obviously I have been sent here as some sort of punishment as there has been no response to my signal. Oh well!...Anyway, after such good days with them, I prepared for a new experience...getting 2 ADHD kids off to 2 separate schools. Never have I seen so many forms and things to keep abreast of! The alarm actually woke me at 6 am. I had a rough night sleeping (as usual!)...bed at 10...up at 12:30...up at 2:30-3:30...anyway....I got the boyz up at 6:30 and I swear I must have accidentally opened the gates of Hades!...After getting Zak to put the dog out repeatedly and my head in a spin getting breakfast, the correct forms in the correct folders, their supplies in their bookbags,all the while encouraging Lennon to eat, get dressed, and to leave Zak alone it came time to leave....Then rush to Lennon's school, drop him off, rush to Zak's school, get his medicines straight with the school nurse, get his PE uniform from the coach, and deliver his papers to his teacher...then rush back to Lennon's school, get his medicines straightened out, deliver his forms. I headed back home...totally drained, blessed the dog, and turned my head toward the storm dropping buckets of rain outside. Yes! Rain....pain... all of this before noon!...Awfully high payment for such a short time of calm and sanity!...No Virginia....there's no Santa Claus!...he costs too much!....Love Jeff

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A Bad Feeling and Explanation

Feelings like the following I hesitate to put out there for people to see normally but when you have children you want to share most of your feelings with them so that if the worst ever happens they will have some sort of understanding. For the last 2 weeks I have had this recurring pain that appears from my left shoulder up my neck. It's a strange pain that is unfamiliar and very uncomfortable. It comes for only a short period and then goes away only to return seemingly without any common thread to its previous appearances. It's not predictable at all and worries me that there may be some sort of blockage in that area. I am ever mindful of my poor state of health and with Michael and Daddy both having blockage problems I just have to pray that I am overly concerned. I know the high risk I carry for stroke and/or heart attack. I plan on calling my doctor today and see what he thinks. The strange feeling I have comes from a combination of that pain and the recent peaceful feeling I have derived from successfully dealing with a lot of inner struggle. Suffice it to say that I hope and pray that I am wrong. I have 2 jobs that are uncompleted and will require much more work to see that they are finished to the satisfaction of my boss. I hope that he is willing to allow me to finish but I concede that he knows better what it will take to wind it up. I have put it on his agenda. I only want a record of my concerns here. I love my 2 sons more than I ever thought I could love anything and I cannot imagine a world without them. I know that they love me and should anything happen to me I am more concerned with how devastating it would be to them than I am of what would happen to me. Sorry for the downer to those of you who actually take the time to read my ramblings but it was something that needed to be said. Love Jeff

Can Anyone Hear Me Scream?

A typical night for me last bed by 11...asleep by 12...up at 2 am...back to sleep by 3:30 am....then an unusual twist...I actually slept from that point until 7 am....Wow! 3 1/2 hours of solid sleep!...Upon arising I began my day thanking God for the opportunity and then did what I normally do until the boyz woke up...I checked the news!...If ever you need any kind of reality check these days or you somehow find the need for a shot of depression (not enough of those huh?) just read the news. In having the time to reflect though it occurs to me that perhaps I'd try what a friend keeps telling me to do...make everything into a positive experience!...Yeah!...I know...same question I came back with...ARE YOU KIDDING?...but in a perverse sort of way it works! least temporarily...Let's try this from my window a moment...I live in a country lead by a president that actually stole the office in front of the entire world...okay...but I can say that out loud and not be shot!...That's positive...I read each day where someone digs into civil rights cases of the past and there is acknowledgement of the wrongs committed back least we are compensating the only way we can for those atrocities...That's a positive thing!...Fuel prices are skyrocketing upon the lamest of excuses by oil companies as usual...This one is a little more difficult...There's a positive side to this?...Well those of us who have seen this garbage before can predict that, eventually (until Labor Day), gas prices will rise closer to $3.00 a gallon and settle back down to what they are now and we'll be conditioned by that time to live with the prices we see now...ok! that's as positive as that gets!...Earthquake hits Japan and tsunami warnings are issued....hmmm!...well...It did hit Japan and not Buncombe County (my apologies to the Japanese!)...The Lutheran Church struck down (by a close margin!) having clergy who are in a committed homosexual relationship be able to lead some congregations...This one's easy to be positive about!...God's gonna handle that one and it ain't gonna be pretty!...See?...In a perverse sort of way my friend is right!...I feel better!...but...CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME SCREAM!...Love, Jeff

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Humor Has to be Included

The elephant! One of my favorite of God's creatures. The elephant is big, strong, and intelligent...everything I have perceived myself to be at one time or another. Now the only one of those descriptive words I can identify with is big! Rarely is the elephant prone to violence...only if it feels that it or it's family appears threatened. As the world becomes more densely populated and technologically advanced the elephant's existence becomes more difficult. That seems to be happening to me as well. Sometimes it seems as though life is overwhelming! To deal with it you have to condition yourself to not take everything so seriously. God created humor! (If you don't believe that take a look at the people around you!) I have a problem with allowing the balance of humor and seriousness to become lopsided on the seriousness side. Hey! I am working on that too! ADHD kids have a certain amount of humor associated with the symptoms of the disorder if you pause sometimes from the seriousness. They become so predictable in their reactions to certain stimuli and anyone that has known me for a while knows that, if I feel good, predictability opens the door to my "sometimes" twisted humor. Case in point...The boyz always delight in picking out, for their treats, some of the most sour tasting candies and drinks known to man. They delight in getting their otherwise distracted dad to taste them and they roll with laughter as it puckers my mouth and my eyes roll back in my head. They constantly try to do this and it's rare when I retaliate but a couple of days ago I did! Zak had chosen a sour watermelon drink when we were out running errands. I really didn't pay much attention to what type he had purchased. When he told me how good his drink tasted and told me to try it I did so without thinking. He howled in laughter as I spit and complained. Later the drink ended up on the coffee table in front of me. It soon became medicine time and Lennon was in the vicinity. I thrust his pill toward him and handed him Zak's drink. He was watching TV and was mindlessly taking the meds until he sipped the drink! He then ran to the bathroom and began spitting, whining at the sour taste and the fact that Daddy got him. Poor guy! After my brief victory celebration I, of course, had to console him and remind him of all the times he had done the same thing to me. Small bit of humor in life but helpful.
Many times in the mornings I will wake them to the sounds of some juvenile theme song from their past stored on my computer and played at a loud volume (such as the theme song of Barney the dinosaur!) knowing that they will awaken in anger and wishing me harm for doing that! Little do they know the extent of their Dad's humor as they grow older and if they did, they would delight in this harmless side of it!...They will learn!...Someday they will have to have their dates meet their Dad so the opportunities for payback are countless depending on my continued survival. Maybe sometimes they do realize this and that is their reason for trying to shorten my lifespan with their actions! they slowly realize that God has allowed them to inherit portions of their Dad's humor and I certainly hope they don't refine it because then my existence becomes threatened and, like the elephant, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find jungle to hide in!...Love Jeff

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Up to Me

Saturday morning and so much has run through my mind since my last post here. As a result I feel much better about my spot in the universe. I took a step that I needed to take and I have much more inner peace and a determination not to let my earthbound human portion interfere any more.
As we grow up we are inspired by many different things. One of the greatest inspirations in my life has been my family. My mother I credit with instilling in me the regulating voice of right. It's this voice in my head that tells me what is the right thing to do or the right way to feel in any situation. Many times this voice has been nagging or screaming when I stubbornly refused to follow its instructions but so many more times it has been calming in its support and reassurance when I do what is right. My mother was also instrumental in being an example of faith and love in the way she lived her life and as I grew up I became aware of where she received that same installed voice. It had been handed down as goodness and truth should be from my grandparents. I had wonderful grandparents! My grandfather was a proud, protective, and honest example of not just what a father should be but what a man should be as well. My grandmother was a very devoted wife and mother and the perfect example of a life led in the right direction. I love them both very much and thank them both for what they have given me, the best of that being my mother. Now, with both of my grandparents gone, and my mother too, the example carries on in my aunt and uncle. They too have had their influence on me over the years and since my mothers passing each time I talk to my Aunt Cecile it's so very much like talking to my mother and I also can hear my grandmother too. There have been times when I have really needed that. Many is the time that I have felt the presence of my grandfather through my Uncle Tom. My grandparents can surely look at the children they raised and be proud of the job they did and I am certain that they produced a smile upon the face of God that will never be erased. They were a shining example of following God's word. This is the way it should be and only now has it become crystal clear that my job is to pass the same thing on to my children. Don't get me wrong, I have spent a lot of time trying to teach my children right and wrong. I have attempted to pass on what they have all given me but one thing has, until now, stood very much in the way of my feeling that I am doing it right. That stumbling block has been self. I have always been the type of person that likes to feel in control of the situations I find myself in. I have many times justified my actions with reason tailor made to falsely convince myself that I was right while all the while that instilled voice given to me by my family was screaming in the background. I felt that I HAD to make my self right! God has invested alot of time in showing me that I am certainly not the one in control and he has designed my life to teach me the limitations of my human control. As I have stated in a previous post I have found myself going to God's rehab clinic many times. In this world of ours we see daily how people struggling for the proper control of self go to rehab clinics over and over again either failing from lack of desire to place something ahead of that controlling misbehavior or success by finally coming to terms with their limitations. I feel that I have finally come to terms with my limitations and feel as though I have laid down a blueprint for success to keep me following the proper path.
Each person has to be ready and open to any positive changes in their lives. Trying to make those changes without proper understanding are only spinning their wheels. As Bob Dylan sang "I guess it must be up to me" and it is. In a final note I'd like to add another line from that same song, "I was just too stubborn to ever be governed by enforced insanity" but that's a subject for another post. Love, Jeff

Thursday, August 11, 2005

The 60 Second Rule's been another of those nights but the day has kind of made up for it. Yesterday I took the boyz (along with my ex, Andrea) to Davidson River to do some rafting. She was off and had agreed to go so she could float down with them. I was grateful for this as I just am unable to do that anymore and the boyz needed that experience. They loved it! I set them out with the raft a mile or so upstream and I (and my dog Jasper) waited for them downstream at Sycamore Flats. Of course it began to rain shortly after setting out but as the kidz put it "We are gonna be wet anyway Daddy!" True...but I'll be hurtin'...and I did.
We have begun a rule here at home and it seems to be working rather well. I call it the 60 Second rule. I told the boyz that we need to reflect on happenings as if we had 60 seconds to live...then we stop and ask ourselves "Is this the way I want to leave this situation?" So far it has caused them to stop and think about what is going on right now. Lennon has taken it very seriously...Zak too, only not as much. Yesterday Lennon had tried to hurt Zak and I shouted,"60 second rule! that the way you want your brother to remember if you died or could you live with that being the last thing you remember doing to your brother?" He stopped and said "No...I am really sorry Zak." Zak then forgave him and things settled down. The key in dealing with ADHD kids (when I can keep my wits about me!) is to make things immediate. Their attention window even with medication (medication helps them to focus but doesn't remove the symptoms) is very short and you have to act rather quickly or the focus turns somewhere else. We all try to work on ourselves inside here. Over the years I have been increasingly dissatisfied with myself and my pain has made me much more vocal about the injustices I see. Sure, I have always been a pretty vocal person when dealing with perceived evil entities but not often when dealing with family members and loved ones. The main exception to this from years back has been my father. We have butted heads as long as I can remember. Many times that is the norm for the first born son and his father but our relationship was strained way beyond that because of his alcoholism. He was a very different person when he drank and you could tell what and how much he had been drinking by his actions. The pain he felt inside came out with a vengeance most times. Sober he was a fine man, but as the drinking continued it began to alter even the sober side of him. He always had a quick temper that became even quicker when dealing with me, the vocal one. I know he loves me and I love him but there were many times you wouldn't have thought that to listen to us. I only wish I had thought about the 60 Second Rule years ago, perhaps it could have saved at least one of us from feeling so bad about the things we said to each other. As they say "hindsight is 20-20" so no sense rehashing what should have been. It should be used as a learning experience to hopefully prevent that happening with my children. Of course I do not have a drinking problem to compound my relationships and my thinking but we all have our demons and my mouth continues to be my worst one. This 60 Second Rule is a good thang and 'round these parts they just ain't enuff good thangs. But weez lookin' for em. Well it's 6 am and I've been up since 3:30...but I do my best thinking around then....Jeff

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Just the Chance to Reflect

Amazing what just a short time to reflect can do for you. My ex-wife actually took both boys twice for a period this weekend and with the weather we're having I certainly welcomed the gesture. There are times with ADHD that you actually find yourself feeling that your child may be possessed of the devil and that your entire body is ready to shut down or explode. Then, when they settle down and have had their medicines you hear them pretending together, putting their arms around each other as brothers you say to yourself "How could I have ever felt that way toward my child?" Ask anyone who is raising ADHD kids and they'll most likely tell you that it happens. I find myself often thinking about just how awesome these guys would be without having to not only deal with normal stages of development but fighting with Mother Nature within and it saddens me that I just can't remove this stumbling block in their lives. These guys are so very intelligent and can be so loving, giving, and caring and God has certainly blessed me with their presence in my life. I know this...I feel this...and yet there always comes those moments when you wish they could be tied to a chair and forced to watch continuous reruns of "Leave It to Beaver"...hoping that somehow something might rub off. (Frankly between you and me, Ward Cleaver would surely go on a killing spree if he had 2 ADHD guys by himself.) I have very little time to work on my own pain much less time to reflect on what's worked out right and what's going wrong. One of the big drawbacks to this fibro thing (You'll find me commenting more on the fibro than anything else that's wrong with me because it is a most awful syndrome) is the memory fog it produces...I forget more often, I have less patience because, in part, I become frustrated from forgetting so much, and I am constantly having to take more time to find ways to remind myself. Many people can't quite grasp fibromyalgia because at present so little is known about it. First of all it is the most painful thing I have ever been through. I hurt constantly and I can no longer remember a day without pain. Coupled with the arthritis that has been eating at me for years there are days when I find walking at all difficult and I feel as if every ounce of energy has been drained from my body...even gripping a pencil is a painful event. I wake every 2 hours or so and the pain is almost unbearable. Doctors aren't sure exactly what causes it but there are some that say it could be caused by a virus but no one has yet isolated it...some say it is the result of some kind of major trauma to the body (with all the operations I've had and the close brushes with death a couple of times it's possible I guess)...some say that as the result of major stresses there has to be a breakdown somewhere and fibro is the result...I don't know...I do know that although the sleep apnea and the diabetes I have may kill me the arthritis and the fibromyalgia will make sure that every day will be most painful. I could (and eventually will!) tell you so much more but no one wants to hear it so enough for now. I know deep down that every thing is for a reason and many times our discomforts we curse are the very things that allow us the opportunities for experiences we would never have had. No matter what you believe the balance of the universe to be...karma....reincarnation...a supreme creator...EVERY THING SERVES A PURPOSE! In that respect I have reason to rejoice in my pain. Logic dictates that the world is far too structured to be a chance happening. Something is in control. MY LOGIC tells me that there is a God. I was once asked by a doubting friend how I could feel certain that my belief in Christianity was well founded besides taking most of it on blind faith based on the writings of men. I told him that the writings of men weren't the complete basis for my beliefs. Logic and observation had their parts in it. I told him that I put myself in the creators place. For whatever reason, I have decided to create a world and give it structure. Structure requires certain rules of order or laws that make everything work the way it is supposed to. The first thing he asked was "If you are the creator why didn't you make everything perfect?"...well I have my reasons and I am the creator and I have created you so I owe you no explanation of that....I have given to my world beings capable of living there in peace and harmony as the highest forms of life therein...I have given them all the resources they need for things to BE PERFECT and very few rules to make it happen. I allow them freedom of choice so the opportunity to see what there is to choose from must exist hence good and evil but make no mistake I am the creator so I am the strongest. My creations make the choice to abandon the easy way I have given them so I assure them that although the choice was wrong I will still allow them to correct their way but not without great effort on their part since they wanted no part of my effortless way. As an incentive I provide them with a reward for a job well done. Down through the ages as their choices would worsen I would send messages on what they needed to do to fix it. After sending countless messengers I feel the need to walk among them as one of them with the same structural laws applied so that I may SHOW them how success could be accomplished and how truly uncomplicated my requirements are. I show them things to convince them that I am the creator and my purpose is to give instructions firsthand and then proceed with a demonstration. My demonstration would involve showing them that under the worst possible conditions that they could accomplish this. They must, as a condition for their choices, lose something of great value to them to gain something of greater value. What would they value most? Life would surely be of the greatest value to them. What I offer in return would have to be of greater value than the structured short term existence they have now. My friend then asked "Why go through all that when you have the power to do anything you want?" Well, because all things must be structured for I cannot create anything greater than or equal to myself. I am not saying that I am correct in my logic, only that I BELIEVE I am correct in my is, after all, MY LOGIC. At least it gave my friend something to think about. One of the reasons I identified so much with John Lennon as I grew up was that I could feel and see the conflicts he had inside through his music...John didn't hide his pain well and he, like myself, was evolving through the complications of this world and trying to make sense of it all. The difference between us was that I was more willing to understand that somewhere amidst all the structure something was in control and it's logic reigned supreme. Amazing what you think about when you are given some time to reflect.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Hard to Find Home

We moved to Asheville in October of 2004 and basically started life again. The boyz had to get used to not only a new neighborhood but new schools as well. ADHD kids (at least mine) don't deal well with changes in settings and routines. The more activity there is in a situation the more the distraction too. The boyz grades lowered and it was a struggle just getting them through the forth and fifth grades. I guess the key word there is "struggle." Everything is a struggle in our world. Waking up and starting the day, mealtimes, chores, games, and bedtime are all struggles where a single parent comes to understand why things such as suicide prevention are necessary. My inner strength is tested on a regular basis and in the small amount of time I have to reflect on my "grades" in the school of life with the lions I find that I average just barely above the survival (passing) level. This means I am either stronger than I thought or insanity has its rewards. Parents of "normal" (and I use that word hesistantly) children have no idea just how much struggle there is in getting a child through a day in a totally distracting world. I am so lucky to have had a mother that taught me where to find the strength I need to make it to the next day. The boyz know of Daddy's heroes and why they are his heroes. They know that Jesus is my ultimate hero and they see my struggle with the human side of me to become more like him. That in itself is enough of a struggle to keep me busy. I often wonder though that if Jesus had ADHD kids and had them on his own and could only use human means of dealing with them just how much time would he have had to find a quiet place to pray. I pray on the run. I have no one to cover for me while I step back and examine how to deal with the situation at hand. I have no way to find a place to go lick my wounds. The boyz know me well enough by now to know that I am trapped. Sometimes they are like a pack of wolves and at the first sign of pain or weakness they go for the throat. That too is the nature of the beast. I know they don't mean to have total disregard for my feelings and no sympathy for my situation. I know they love me and certainly don't want to do without me but the ADHD doesn't provide a platform for putting yourself in the place of others and if by some miracle they do sympathize, for even an instant, the short term memory associated with that instant causes it to disappear before the proper amount of attention can be applied to make it a learning experience. I guess you could term ADHD as a "ME" disorder. The entire focus, fleeting as it may be, and the impulses are to "satisfy me right now...damn the torpedoes!" Believe me it's very difficult for me to sympathize with what I know is going on with them when not only am I hurting so badly but they have eaten on my last nerve. If I could ask for one thing associated with this disorder it would be that I be allowed to think for a moment before having to regulate or referee the situation at hand. That's why ADHD households for the most part are tense, loud, and active places and parents become easily frustrated, many times compounding the situation. I end up hating myself because I can't always deal with happenings the way I know I should be able to. I am a Christian and not a very good one if you judge by how things run when they both are "on the jazz". I spend more time in God's Rehab Clinic than most people. God probably tires of hearing me say I am sorry for some of the things that come out of my mouth during times like these! It is only at times like these (4 am, hurting, kids asleep, and me with time to think) that I can reflect and arm myself somewhat for the day that is about to begin. Hope your day goes well...we'll see how our day goes shortly!

Friday, August 05, 2005

One of Those Nights...

Here lately I've had nights that really stink as far as getting any rest...It's been years since I have been able to sleep for more than 3-4 hours straight without waking. Usually I awaken hurting and have to sit on the edge of the bed for a few minutes to work out the kinks and then try to get some more sleep. The arthritis was bad enough but with arthritis you can get moving and it kind of loosens up a little...but this fibro!...pain I reckon!...every muscle in your body aches and your energy level is down to zero...I am on oxygen and a CPAP machine at night for my sleep apnea and that doesn't help either...I have never been able to lie right down and go to sleep....I hate the mask that I must put on and it still bothers me so I have to be very tired to get to sleep...Last night we got to bed about 9:30...I was up at 11:30....1:45....and 3:30....I finally gave up and got up in a chair at 7 am...The boyz both sleep with me....They can't sleep in their own rooms by themselves....Even if they start out like that eventually during the night they will end up with me...My youngest, Lennon is always afraid in other rooms in the house by himself...I asked him why he was afraid and he at first told me that he didn't know why....As I questioned him further he said "Because I am afraid I'll disappear!"...I assured him that he was safe in his own home and I'd certainly not let anything happen to him but then he said he had heard about Jessica Lunsford and she was in her own home yet she disappeared...Man! How can you convince a child amidst news like that?...I can understand now and it no longer troubles me in not knowing...The thing that really bothered me was that many times with an ADHD child not only are some things blown really out of proportion but ADHD is sometimes accompanied by some other disorder or form of it. I have 2 children with 2 different levels of ADHD and things work differently for both....One of my main worries was that one could be bipolar and that would develop into a totally different ballgame (I strongly suspect that their mother's problem is that she is bipolar...the symptoms fit!)...So far the doctor assures me that all the recent changes in our lives have probably magnified the ADHD symptoms but she feels sure that bipolar disorder hasn't reared it's ugly head ...yet!...Lennon is the most hyperactive-impulsive type of ADHD...This child consumes nearly my every waking moment...You have to push him through each day and each activity except for that which he really wants to do...And those activities are rare to say the least. He is my true test in life. Zak, on the other hand, isn't quite as impulsive but he has a healthy level of hyperactivity too...That mouth will run a mile a second and he gets goofy and tries his best to stir up trouble when that happens...Most times it doesn't take much to get Lennon going and then the war is on....Also they have the normal sibling rivalry things going on for their stages of development and that too has to be addressed...(Can anyone hear the clicking noise of the gun to my head?) what?....The boyz are getting up and I must return to finish later....Pray for me always!...As I slowly drag myself into the den of death.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Hatin' rain....

Rain!....I used to love it!...Sure it makes flowers grow!...but it makes me hurt!...Kids! they do too!...As a general rule no one here engages in any kind of game or competition UNLESS their medicines are not only taken but working!.It always leads to disaster!...I remember reading in Moe Howard's book on the Three Stooges that he always knew when Curly (who by the way was an extremely good ballroom dancer!) came in drunk...He would hear Curly holler "Swwwing it!"...Moe says Curly was on one...Same here...when Lennon is "on the jazz" (full blown ADHD symptoms) His eyes light up...his tongue hangs from the side of his mouth and he has this maniacal laugh...even if you didn't know when to give him his'd know you were late!....Give him the meds and live with it for 45 mins. to an hour and there'll be better livin' through chemistry...It's so hard to put anyone with normal children in touch with what happens in an ADHD household unless you live it...nothing is ever easy...Mealtimes...outings in public....bedtimes....gametimes...all instill a certain fear unless that hyperactivity is taken care of where the boyz can focus...separate...even with full blown symptoms, they are never much of a problem...people often times tell me...."Whatever are you talking about, they are the best behaved children?"...Yeah! Right!....if they are at that time you have no idea what has to happen to get them there....and you'd be totally unaware of the living hell you must pay later...but I can't complain much....God knows what he is doing...Had I not been disabled I'd never have been able to care for these guys like I have...and I guess God knew of my determination to not be beaten in spite of the odds...Just when I think I can take no more and my body is riddled with pain...the boyz are wide open and I feel my 1st stroke or heart attack is right around the corner...I somehow get a grip...drop back and punt!....I am definitely convinced that my lesson in this lifetime that God is trying to give me is one of patience...The Crisps are well known for having little to no patience....And I always used to pray for patience...a minister once told me to never pray for patience because God would send all kinds of things your way to test you...I told him that I was always taught to pray for whatever you needed...and I have always needed will continue to pray for what I need. (Well...I never pray for morphine! always have to be on your toes and creative in an ADHD household...NOTHING WORKS CONSISTENTLY!!....they catch on quickly and will try to out maneuver you...Case in point...One of my sons thinks the only vegetable to eat is a most to get him (and the other too!) to eat some green veggies I would puree asparagus in the spaghetti sauce....They never noticed!...but one day they heard me tell a friend on the phone what I did and now they turn up their noses at ok...I started making salads out of spinach instead of iceberg lettuce and I would place little pieces in sandwiches...sometimes they'd bite and see one and complain...I'd take it off then while protesting a mistake...but they ate's a true test of life to raise kids like this and the sad part is not everyone can handle it...I read all the time of parents whose kids are ADHD and they are driven to the point of giving them up to someone else to raise...I can understand their agony but at the same time that which tests our strength must make us stronger or we lose...many is the time I have closed the door and cried....many times I have sought advice and tips from other parents and people who deal with kids like this but always at some point I step back and say "Man...if anyone else can do this...I can too!...And I do!...Many people say "My hat's off to you I don't know how you do it"...and some say I deserve a medal for the job I do....No...I don't think so...I am doing what anyone is supposed to do for their kids and I am certainly not the best at what I do....but I am getting better...and besides that I don't do this for the rest of the world...Frankly I have become fed up with the turn this world is taking and I care not of anyone's opinion of me or how I do things...The main thing is that my children feel loved by me....they love me...I spend my time trying to make their lives better and no matter how misunderstood by the rest of their world they always know that Daddy understands and even if he becomes upset, angry, or demanding that once Daddy has a chance to regroup all will be taken care of...and that's the bottom line!....Jeff

Monday, August 01, 2005

And the week begins!

The Three favorite comedy team of all time!...They always make me feel better, not only because of their antics on film but mainly because I can only imagine the home life for their mother...(Moe, Shemp, and Curly were brothers in real life!)...With the thought of having them for sons at the age of mine I instantly feel much better. You know how that goes!...there's always someone worse off!'s 8:49 am and of course I have been up and hurting since 5:30 and for a change the boyz are sleeping late...I should say at least Lennon is sleeping late!...Zak always likes his sleep and is irritated at being awakened for any reason! This means that Lennon gets up early (and wired for sound!) just as I am trying to find a corner to crawl into to lick my wounds. Then we begin by having to get him to eat (*load pistol Jeff! mental note!) before his medicine takes effect because it will kill his appetite. I finally finish with all the "Eat Lennons" and the medicine takes the hyperactivity out so that he can focus then up comes Zak with attitude!...I get his breakfast amid him trying to upset Lennon and with him needing his medicine too but having to go the same basic routine as with Lennon so that he will eat!...BUT!...since Lennon is finished and otherwise distracted (reading...playing...something other than being in my way!) Zak wants to skip breakfast and go right to play or into Lennon's world at the moment and the struggle begins anew!...Ah yes! Did I mention how bad I feel this morning?...and did I mention the mental notes of just how much around the house I have noticed that needs to be done today?...anyway after the medicines kick in it looks like Daddy will be leading an expedition into the wasteland and begin assignment of recovery efforts to 2 little boys that seek only playtime!...and the war rages on!