Skip to content

ADHD for the Gold

Next year my youngest son will begin high school. It signals a fresh start in academics, athletics and social connections. He will be joining his older brother there and frankly, there is only one thing on my mind.


I have been waiting patiently his whole little life for this moment in time. My long-legged long-winded child caused many moments of long-suffering over the years, but it’s about to all pay off.

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure…and so we plan to take this kid’s ADHD and cash in.

We never had a teacher call him out on his excitability. His report card notes include “A joy to have in class” right next to “Needs to work on focus.” They are always torn: yes, he speaks out before raising his hand, but also he sits in front and is actually happy to be there.

He was never actually “diagnosed”. I think a growing boy is naturally full of jumping beans.

This one just came with extras, is all.

He can control them if he limits his sweet tooth. We don’t keep sodas, chips, candy, etc stocked in the kitchen. We stick to meat and potatoes with occasional sides of pintos and whatever a family of seven can afford that doesn’t include Pop Tarts.

However, there is never a lack of sweets and artificial substances when you’re a man about town. He can swap for them during school lunchtime or chow down during a church potluck or casually join in the Cola Brigade at a friend’s house.

We never made a big deal out of it for fear it would actually become a big deal.

But surely there is a time to educate a child on his strengths and weaknesses.

“Son, you can’t eat a huge piece of chocolate layer cake right before church and expect to stay in your seat for the next hour. It’s not physically possible. I know little Billy can, but your body is unique and that’s how it responds when you eat certain things. Pay attention. Your teacher called me in to discuss your complete abandon of focus during her social studies class. That class is right after lunch. What are you packing in your lunch?”

Only four packs of gummy fruit snacks, a fist full of tortilla chips, juice boxes, and a chocolate chip granola bar.

“Where are the yogurt, cheese, sandwich, peanut butter and veggie bits?”

“Mom, nobody will trade for those.”

He was on a road trip with a favorite aunt. She gave him a generous bag of Doritos.

Ten minutes later, she pulled into a rest stop and waited while he ran laps around the facilities for a half hour until they wore off.

I say things to him like, “What in the world was that all about?

What did you eat?


Did you actually just drink a Mountain Dew?!”

“Mom,” he says, shaking his head sadly, “I just do what the soda tells me to.”

Well, we are done fighting it. Done. We are about to turn a weak spot into his secret weapon.

He will finally be joining his big brother’s high school cross country team. His big brother runs like a well oiled machine. He runs with his head. He uses strategy and training and discipline.

But this other kid of mine…he runs like a wild animal. He has something that simply picks him up and flings him forward into the universe. It may not be pretty, it may not be kosher, and there will be many people watching and just shaking their heads over it…but now this kid has a secret accelerator.

The Olympic judges a few years from now will demand drug testing.

The other runners will insist they smell something fishy.

Or is it cheesy?

The results will come in….

“Sir, there appears to be extremely high levels of…Doritos dust…in his system.”

No laws against that, eh?

Published inLiving Larger


  1. Rhonda Vaughan

    I give you alot of credit for knowing what to do quicker than I did. If I could go back to the 6 kids I had for such a short time, I would indeed do things different. You only have these parts of us for a short time or so it seems afterward. You probably already know to take it one day at a time, but I’ll be looking forward to see how it turns out. You go mom!

    • Pam Schlottman

      loved your story and fits what I know about youngest to a tee. You have such a love of your children that sometimes is hidden under your funny remarks. I know you are enjoying this time, the frustration and and the pleasure, remember it just does not last that long. Just seems that it does. I hope all your children stay around in San Diego for a long long time.

  2. Kiki

    I love your kids. Each one is so unique, from the calm to the active. You have raised 5 incredible kids. Can’t believe he will be in high school next year. The years have flown 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *