The Nicest Person in Our Family

Our ADHD/Asperger’s teenager is the nicest person in our family. We call him Clark Kent the WonderKid, because in his heart he believes he’s Superman.  Remember what a nice guy Clark Kent was? It makes me wonder if he had ADHD, too.

Not that Clark is only nice because of ADHD. Far from it. But I think his present focus gives him a leg-up on the rest of us. Why? Because Clark forgets. Nevermind forgive, we all do that. The rest of us, though, hold past hurts in our present thoughts. Clark doesn’t. If it wasn’t within the four-second window he lives in on either side of the present moment, then it’s over for him almost as if it never happened.

He’s not just able to forget. He’s also kind. Last night my husband Eric asked Clark to do a few favors for him: get cash, get ice and pack it in a cooler, and get gas, all because Eric was exhausted and needed to start his work day at 4:30 a.m. again the next day.

“No problem,” Clark said.

Off he went to the gas station in Eric’s car, He got the ice. He got the gas. He got the cash. He came home, he returned my credit and ATM cards. He gave Eric the money.

As he left in his own car to take his girlfriend home, Eric reminded him, “Put the ice in the cooler in the back of my car.”

“No problem,” Clark said.

He left. He came back at 8:30 p.m. He declared the jobs completed. All was right with the world. By then, Eric was fast asleep.

The alarm went off early. Eric scurried around getting ready, happy that he didn’t have to stop for ice or gas and got the extra sleep the night before and this morning. I kissed him goodbye and crawled back in bed. He set the house alarm, and went out the door.

One minute later, the door re-opened. Then it closed. Then it re-opened again. And closed. I wondered what he forgot.

Half an hour later, my phone dinged. Text. Ding. Another. Ding. Another. Between the three, they said:

I’m not mad, but Clark parked behind me last night so I had to move his car before I could leave. Then I got here and discovered he didn’t put the top on the cooler, so all the ice is melted. I don’t have time to get more so we’ll have to drink hot drinks all day while we work outside climbing towers. Sometimes helping is not helpful, but at least he had a great attitude about it.

Ugh.  I felt terrible for Eric. I was unhappy with Clark. At 16, we expect more follow-through. But why should this job be any different than homework, chores, or any other task that he loses focus on before he finishes? More importantly, what would we do differently with him next time? Ah, that I could answer:

  • Remind Clark to make a list
  • Ask Clark to repeat the tasks back verbally
  • Think just a little harder about the stumbling blocks for and with Clark
  • Talk him through the tasks after completion
  • Double-check his work

Wow. Sounds like way more trouble to have Clark do it than to do it ourselves. Sometimes. Maybe, yes. However, this was a missed opportunity to work with Clark to reinforce the skills his parents and counselor have coached him on over the years, and possibly to expand them a bit as well.

So, another day in the Clark Kent Chronicles, in the good-with-the-bad of ADHD. The nicest person in the family? For sure. The rest, well…um…did I mention he’s the nicest person in our family?

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the Clark Kent Chronicles on parenting ADHD wonder kids, thanks to the crash course given to her by her ADHD son and his ADHD father. Pamela is the author of the book The Clark Kent Chronicles: A Mother’s Tale of Life With Her ADHD & Asperger’s Son, and many others, like How To Screw Up Your Kids and her bestselling, award-winning Katie & Annalise mystery series, led off by Saving Grace. Visit her blog, Road to Joy, where you can buy her books in any form, anywhere. Pamela is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship, as well as her husband and kids. Like Clark Kent, she also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

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adhd symptoms, ADHD teenagers, Asperger's, attention/focus, Clark Kent Chronicles, Pamela Hutchins, parenting, parenting ADHD, parenting/FAMILY, teenagers, Uncategorized ·

About the author

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the Clark Kent Chronicles on parenting ADHD wonder kids, thanks to the crash course given to her by her ADHD son and his ADHD father. Pamela is the author of the book The Clark Kent Chronicles: A Mother's Tale of Life With Her ADHD & Asperger's Son, and many others, like How To Screw Up Your Kids and her bestselling, award-winning Katie & Annalise mystery series, led off by Saving Grace. Visit her blog, Road to Joy, where you can buy her books in any form, anywhere. Pamela is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship, as well as her husband and kids. Like Clark Kent, she also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

11 Comments

  1. Beth B says:

    Thanks for the story and the peek into the future with how things will probably be with my own boy.   Forewarned is forearmed!  

    Reply
  2. Eric says:

    His heart really is in the right place most of the time, its just that forward thinking, and follow through that is missing.

    “I was asked to put the ice in the cooler. I did that. I was not asked to close the lid. If I stop and really think about it I am a smart guy, I understand there will be no ice left by morning. But,

    …….. And, it of course was not a big deal its just such a perfect glimpse into a day in the life.

    He really is a nice human being.

    Reply
  3. Nan Loyd says:

    Nope babe, the nicest person in your family is Eric.  I love how he handled that. 

    Reply
  4. Nan Loyd says:

    Nope babe, the nicest person in your family is Eric.  I love how he handled that. 

    Reply
  5. Dee Boling says:

    Yeah, it’s always hard to refrain from saying:  just think!  They try!  They just don’t get the details!

    Reply

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The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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