One of my favorite childhood books is "Winnie the Pooh". I have read it many times as a child. I have read it to both of my children. I am inspired by A. A. Milne's ability to lovingly portray characters and their quirky attributes:
Eeyore, the introvert, with his slow pace and monotone voice.
Piglet, with his constant worry and anxiety.
And of course, Pooh and his eternal love of honey.
For each of Milne's characters, I can think of someone in my life who is similar.
Owl, the wise adviser, is my Mom, Evelyn.
Kanga, the consummate mother, is my sister Christine.
And Winnie the Pooh, without a doubt, is my son, Nicholas.
What I love most about Milne's writing, is despite the flaws these characters possess: anxiety, depression, nervousness, or obsession, each character is still lovable. Each character is valued. Each character is considered an important and unique addition to the 100 Acre Wood.
When I read, "Winnie the Pooh", I am reminded of my son, Weston. He is, of course, Tigger.
In fact, I wonder if perhaps A. A. Milne had a son diagnosed with ADHD? These lyrics hold much clarity into the personality of a hyperactive child.
The wonderful thing about Tiggers,
Are Tiggers are wonderful things.
Their tops are made out of rubber,
Their bottoms are made out of springs.
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy. pouncy,
Fun, fun, fun, fun, Fun.
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers is...
I'm the only one, Yes, I'm the only one!
I am the mother of two children diagnosed with special needs. Although my son, Nicholas, is diagnosed with Prader Willi Syndrome, a severe and devastating disease, it is my son, Weston who struggles most in navigating his way through this world.
Because he looks so "normal" and ADHD is not considered a REAL disorder, he is judged, scorned, disciplined harshly and outcast by the rest of the world. His hyperactivity, lack of social skills, and bouncy energy cause others to avoid him. Students, teachers, administrators and parents alike, often do not embrace Weston's unique personality. He is not valued. He is not understood. He often feels like he is an outcast. He feels like he is truly.......the only one.
I am struggling with Weston's transition into the middle school. I am struggling to enlighten his teachers so that they may embrace his disability and recognize that it is indeed real. I am struggling to get them to realize the importance of making him feel good about himself.
I think A.A. Milne had a vision of this world, a vision that created a world where everyone is valued and loved. Everyone is important, no matter how quirky, no matter how anxious, no matter how hyperactive.
A world that looks a lot like the 100 Acre Wood.
I think I will bring a copy of "Winnie the Pooh" to Weston's next IEP meeting.
To read more about how we are coping with ADHD and Prader Willi Syndome, come visit our blog at: www.onalifelessperfect.blogspot.com.