Doing Everything For Him Beforehand Was Insufficient.

It’s a long story, but sometimes I blame myself for not doing more for Dylan when I was giving birth – for not having a C-section sooner, for not getting him out faster. Sometimes I think, It’s my fault that he’s got ADHD.

Then I look at Bill.

This weekend, Bill had the kids – without me – for three days. It started with Shane’s instrumental music field trip to Busch Gardens, and continued to North Carolina to see Dylan’s online BFF. It was a short trip, but I would not be attending – so Bill was on his own.

To say that I took care of the “details” beforehand would be a gross understatement.

I mapped out the routes, found the hotels, and made the reservations. I studied the restaurants and activities in the area and compiled a detailed page with addresses and phone numbers for Bill to take on his trip.

Most important – and most confusing – was preparing for Shane and Bill to meet at an amusement park. Shane was taking a school bus to the park at 4 a.m. and Bill was driving to meet Shane – somewhere – at 4 p.m. I coordinated everything for the 12 hours in between. I made sure that Shane had his park clothes packed, and his band clothing and equipment ready. I prepared portable breakfast and lunch, and gave him supplies for the park.

I printed a map of Busch Gardens, located lockers, and went over the details with Shane so that he wouldn’t leave all of his belongings on the bus. At the last minute, I gave Shane an extra $10 in case online reports were wrong (they were) about how much lockers cost at Busch Gardens. I went over the details with Shane again, making sure he knew how important it was to hang onto his phone – securely, so it didn’t get tossed out on a ride – so he could get in touch with his dad later.

The only detail I could not work out was where, exactly Bill and Shane would meet – because the school didn’t yet know the exact location.

And it took repeated emails to Shane’s teacher, but I secured her cell phone number so that, if everything went completely wrong and Shane lost his cell phone or locked it irrevocably in a locker, Bill would have an emergency contact number so they wouldn’t all leave Shane at the park.

Then I printed out detailed instructions on what Bill should do – with the teacher’s cell number in large, bold print – and gave him the school’s package about the trip, too. I even drove Shane to the bus at 4 a.m., so that Bill could sleep in – and then drive safely to his destination.

And he did. Bill called me three times to tell me how much fun they were having. During call three, I cautiously asked, “Did you ask the teacher where you’re going to meet Shane?”

Flustered, Bill shrieked, “No! I just got here! And do you have that number? I left it in the car.”

I found the number, texted the teacher, got the information, and sent it to Bill, who had left my six pages of instructions in the car.

Four hours went by, and Bill called me, adrenaline-rushed, as he was leaving the park.

I almost didn’t ask. But… “Did you get Shane’s stuff out of his locker?”

Bill gasped, “No! I forgot all about it!” And he hung up.

Ten minutes later he called back.

“That’s why we keep you around!” he told me. Because doing everything for him beforehand was insufficient.

Dylan doesn’t get his ADHD from me.

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