I remember the first time I held my baby daughter in my arms. We had had a very rough journey from conception to birth. Mangled by a drunken driver, I was still learning to walk unassisted as she took her first steps. How I feared that I would not be able to run after her to keep her from danger. I remember how justified those fears were. My first time in the rodeo of parenthood and God sends me an ADHD child before they had a label other than, “She’s special.” All I knew at that time was the fact that my child was exceptionally bright. People would ask, “Isn’t she a little young to be speaking in full sentences? Non stop? Ever?”
I would reply, “Why shouldn’t she be conversing about the emotional delays of her playmates? She stays awake just to learn. The child is awake and learning twenty-three out of every twenty-four hours!” I remember the day I had a little talk with her doctor. I explained that one of us had to be put out of the other one’s misery. “Give her the medicine. Give me the medicine. Give one of us some M.E.D.I.C.I.N.E!” I left the doctor’s office with a script. I knew that, should the meds not work on Brandi, I was willing to give it a try myself. I needed some serious sleep.
Oh, how I remember the first time she slept through the night. So okay, maybe it was a short night—midnight until 5:30 a.m.—but that was an improvement. Her ten-minute daytime naps usually ended with her slapping my face and saying, “Mommy, wake up.” Mommy prayed for the day when she would not need a longer nap than the baby did.
I remember all the funny, crazy, hilarious things that a precocious child called Brandi did. I may have been exhausted at the end of the day, but I was never bored—often embarrassed, but never bored. I remember how quickly those days rushed by. I could not find a way to slow her growth, either in body or in knowledge. She hit the pavement running and never looked back.
Now, my little girl has her own sweet ADHD baby girl. I did not wish it on her, I promise. I’m not stupid, you know. You think I would do that knowing that grandma would have to go through that again with half the strength she had the first time around? So maybe I do some stupid things now and then, but I am not crazy. I love my granddaughter and would not change a thing about her beautiful and talented body. After all, I don’t have to sit up nights anymore.
Sometimes, I remember a special day or a special moment and I cry a little. I cry because that day or that time will never come again. I would not want to start over, but I would love the ability to click on a memory and be able to step into that day or that moment for a few hours. I would cherish the moment a little longer and appreciate it a lot more. I would take back every time that I said, “I’ll be glad when you grow up.” I was glad to see my daughter grow up. I wasn’t glad that it happened so quickly. The really sad thing is that it is happening all over again. We call her Whitney.