Imagine yourself in a multiplex movie theater. Curiously, no walls separate the half-dozen theaters that form the multiplex. Miraculously, you are watching six different screens all at once, thoroughly understanding and enjoying every scene, word, character.
Welcome to ADHD.
[You in the Real World, be sure to click on the red underlined hyperlinks! And know these accounts are true … without exaggeration!]
Four little females run the house.
You mean run AROUND the house, right? corrects Screen Two.
“No, I mean RUN the house,” I reply. “And I, lone male, wash dishes in the kitchen instead of joining their endless shenanigans.”
Wild times at the Blackwell home, laughs Three, what with the weekend sleepover you host once each month for your friends’ daughters. Can you believe it’s been a decade of diapers?
Weeks earlier, Brianna, 10, e-mailed reminders about our last gathering and warned of the wild time the girls soon would have with me and Aunt Laura. Whipping up a mock version of an entry she claims I would make in a journal, our humorous Hemingway writes (and these truly are her words and spellings):
Hello, Diary, this is me, Blackie. I cannot say that I am better than Brianna because it is not true. She is so fast [when I chase her] at the zoo, it is unbelievable crazy. My walker cannot keep up. Brianna IS better. I am so glad, Diary, you agree with me.
Abigail is eight and the equally proud owner of a new e-mail account. Two days ago, she wrote (with heartfelt sentiment), “So finealy we get to see ech other again. I really miss u guys.”
But now that she and her trio of sisters are here at the “Blackwell Bed and Breakfast,” Abby scrawls dry-erase notes on my office whiteboard. “You are,” she writes in looping second-grade cursive, “an awesome uncle. Please be slow [when you chase us] so we can win. PS – I don’t have to ask. I know you are slow.”
Eowyn quietly smiles just behind me in a high-chair. Feeling her pull on my back pocket prompts me to ask, “What do you want, babe?”
“I not a baby,” refutes the three-year-old, then points to her half-empty plate. “I too full.”
Ask if she’s sure, advises Four. That kid eats like a horse.
“Yes, too full. But – ” her eyes brighten at the sight of a treat – “I eat that chocolate, OK?”
No harm in that, nudges Six.
“They all tell the truth, Six. I’d face their health-conscious mom.”
A popular country song wafts from the next room. This puzzles Five, who asks, Thought you turned off the radio when the girls arrived.
“I did.” Yet lyrics and high notes continue, so I lean and listen.
Well, I wish I had some shoes on my two bare feet,
And it’s gettin’ kinda cold in these painted-on, cut-off jeans.
That’s Brianna! exclaims Three, applauding the lead in this all-girl gang.
I hate the way this bikini top chafes …
Do I really have to wear it all day?
“Bri, are you allowed to sing that song?” I query, knowing her dad’s distaste for country and her mother’s guarding of their hearts.
“Yeah, baby,” she melodically answers with the song’s lyrics, then says in plain English, “We just can’t watch it.”
I dry my hands, find the song on YouTube, shrink the screen and crank the volume, prompting Brianna to tuck new strength into the tune. Abby flawlessly joins the next lines …
I hear you over there on your tailgate whistlin’ …
Sayin’, “Hey, girl,” but you know I ain’t listenin’ …
‘Cause I got a name,
And to you it ain’t “pretty little thing”, “hottie” or “baby.”
Yeah it’s drivin’ me red-red-red-red-red-red-redneck crazy.
All of us unite in the kitchen, where high-chaired Eowyn rhythmically wiggles as these singing whirlwinds athletically bounce on strong toes, making up their own moves.
Remember this with Leah? asks Two.
I sigh, aching at the loss of my blondie’s innocent childhood. How then will my heart handle still four more cuties becoming teen beauties?
Six allows me no time to dwell: The ladies are rolling up to their big finish, Uncle Blackie.
These days it ain’t easy being that … girl in a country song!
Standing closely to Eowyn’s high chair garners me a small-handed hug, one quickly followed by more from her sisters. “Hide and seek!” shout evaporating gypsies, running but never looking back, the last fleeing waif decreeing that I count aloud to 50 with my eyes covered.
Convenient, that bit of putting hands over your face, murmurs Three warmly. Grant your tender tears their time. Only then go find the girls. But not too quickly!
Postscript: Saturday afternoon, and four buzzing little babes bounce alongside “fun magnet” Uncle Blackie. They know I always step into adventures dear daughters love telling to proud parents.
We five stroll to the nearby park, hoping to saucer the whitened slopes. Snow is history – “Nooo!” – but garbage is present, so we clean the area.
Brianna lifts the trash can’s lid to allow emptying of my full hands, then exclaims “Wait!” as she retrieves an item within. Four eager sets of fine female fingers probe a purse, extracting change and store member cards (none of which indicate owner and address).
The library card will identify present patron and previous possessor, suggests Four.
Brianna maturely explains to the Rossford librarian our discovery of the purse. A quick card scan produces a phone number, one promptly punched while four eager faces study the librarian’s for signs of success.
Call complete, the librarian expresses genuine surprise. “The owner is thrilled you found her purse and its contents … stolen just over a year ago.”
Bri nearly floats home. “Can you believe it, Uncle Blackie? A purse gone for a year – but somehow we found it! What an adventure!”
Welcome to the “ADHD Powered” life, laugh six screens.
* * * * *
Being the Girl in a Country Song [original]
RaeLynn lyrically explains why God Made Girls