Abigail The Mini-Einstein

My Abigail is awesome. She is such a great girl. The last couple of times I have watched her playing soccer from the car while waiting for practice to be over I just can’t believe she is my daughter. She is so grown-up.  When did she become a woman? She loves to taunt us about getting her drivers permit in six months. Nothing better then that to make a parent feel like they are coming of age.

I love Abigail just because she is her but lately I’ve started to stress about what it will be like when she flies the coop. How will I know what to wear or what jewelry to match with my outfit? Who will tell me which shoes look better? What will I do without her to help the younger girls with their math homework? Who is going to be throwing out the smart trivia that always brings me such joy. This girls smarts always amaze me. I just really love hanging out with my Abigail. She has boundless energy and always makes me laugh.

CA 2013 - Sunday

Two funny stories about Abigail have occurred in the past couple of weeks. First is just a silly little thing but it demonstrates her silly sense of humor. She was talking to her friend about coming over to our new place to watch a movie. This is her wording, “Hey Kaimi, do you want to come over to my half-of-a-house and watch a movie?” The only reason she could even invite her friend is because the rest of us wouldn’t be home to bug them all night. We are literally on top of each other in our half-of-a-house, but at least we can all laugh about it.

The next story happened yesterday. It is A-typical of Abigail’s ADHD. She is my little mini-Einstein. She is just like her dad (except for the sense of humor and boundless energy  and fashion sense – I’m taking all credit for those traits). She is smart as a whip but struggles with organization and motivation because of her ADHD. Although she could have taken all honors classes this year as a Freshman, LG and I limited her to two because we knew she would get overwhelmed. She picked math and science for her honors because those are her favorite subjects and are of the most interest to her.

All year long she’s been getting straight A’s and she’s told us that she was on top of her homework. We trusted her. Well, this is a pattern with her. She outright lies because she doesn’t want to do her homework. So, yesterday she texts me from school and tells me she is going to just drop honors math because her homework packet is due and she didn’t finish it. (The way they do honors math is by giving additional work to do at home to the kids that want it) I was not happy and kind of confused because I didn’t even know if she was allowed to drop it. I ended up calling the school adviser and after a couple of tries I found myself on the phone with her math teacher. I explained the situation and told the teacher I was NOT o.k. with this and would come pull her out of school right now to get the packet done. Her teacher replied, “No way, she is way too smart not to do honors; don’t worry I will take care of this. I will get her in here right now.”

Her teacher ended up texting her from one of her friend’s phones and got her to come to her class where she told Abigail that she would give her til morning to get it done.  Abigail – 0, Mom – 1.

Abigail and I laughed about it all afternoon. Then LG stayed up until 10 pm with Abigail getting it all done. Math is just not my department. We now will require Abigail to show us her work every day so we can help her manage her ADHD better, but our final goal is always to let her manage it herself. Obviously, she hasn’t arrived quite yet but lucky for us we’ve got a few more years til college.

If you want a better picture of what it is like to raise an Einstein daughter, check out this commercial. It is so my Abigail.


If Only Mileva Einstein Could Have Slipped The Genius Some Ritalin #1

My husband has ADHD. It’s true whether or not he feels like admitting it today. After the insistence of our marriage counselor he finally went and got back on drugs. Thank you Joyce! Four days later I can already tell a huge difference in him. The bags under his eyes aren’t as palpable, the deer in the headlights look is completely gone, and I would even argue that he is more emotionally engaged.

I’ve been feeling a little guilty that not only did I not recognize completely how his meds helped him, but that I didn’t insist he stay on them. Back in 2011, after a really bad couple of years in Tennessee, LG and I were grateful for a new start in Utah. With our newly acquired health insurance the first thing LG did was go to a doctor. He was really motivated to be amazing at his new job and he welcomed help from his ADHD prescription. However, over time, he got cocky. He felt like he didn’t need them and didn’t want to deal with the side effects. He also didn’t want to spend the money so he went off of his drugs. Slowly, over time, the old non-functioning LG was beginning to resurface but it was so gradual that I didn’t pin-point it. Once again the marriage counselor came to the rescue.

She had a really frank talk with LG last week. “LeGrand, do you understand how it effects you and everyone around you when you don’t take your ADHD prescription? There is not only a direct correlation but a lot of research to support the fact that your ADHD is feeding your other issues? You need it to be treated and you can’t wait another day.” Then she challenged him to get into the doctor last week, which he did, bringing me to this post.

I’ve been thinking a lot about living with Einstein for the past sixteen years. My husband is genius. I am not kidding. He is one of the smartest people I know. It is not surprising to me one bit to know that Einstein is a poster figure for ADHD. I am married to him. (I also have a daughter who is him in his female reincarnated drop dead gorgeous form.) My husband (and daughter) could not only figure out how far infinity is but once he knows the answer he could also quite simply explain it to anyone else who needs to know. When other people would have lost the patience to teach me after an hour of explanation, my husband always finds another way around explaining it (and another, and another) until I understand. When anyone has a question, it must be answered to everyone’s satisfaction. There is no way around it. Knowledge and wisdom are his guiding light.

My husband would also get to the other end of infinity and realize that he forgot his keys to unlock the door, and the pen and paper to write down the formula, and then he would make a mental note of about 800 things to do when he got back and proceed to forget every single one of them.

In short, it is extremely challenging to be married to someone with ADHD. If you don’t believe me, check out this article about Einsten’s personal life.

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Let me help you understand what it is like.

  • My husband is on his 7th or 8th wedding band since we got married. It was really sad the first time it happened, and the second, and the third, but now I am not even sure if 7 or 8 is an accurate number. We quit counting a long time ago.
  • My husband struggles with major self-esteem issues because of his ADHD.  No matter how much confidence I try to instill in him, years of under-functioning with ADHD have robbed him.
  • When my husband doesn’t know the answer to something (like fixing anything) he will avoid it indefinitely.
  • His keys and wallet are in one form or another of lost at all times. (One of LG’s favorite sayings is, it’s only lost if he’s looking for it.)
  • The man needs constant stimulation. Constant. I am not talking about sex, (although that works) stimulation comes in all forms…reading, texting, gaming, watching TV, fidgeting…doing all of these at the same time.
  • He literally cannot remember insignificant tasks like taking out the trash, complimenting his wife, planning ahead farther than one day.

The list could go on and on, but honestly all you have to do is read up a little on ADHD to understand the challenges I’ve faced in my marriage. Perhaps one of the hardest parts of loving a person with ADHD is their inability to connect emotionally. Here is a great article that explains how marriage is effected by ADHD. I really get the resentment mentioned about being the spouse who has to do everything. I am sure if you asked Mileva Einstein, her and I would echo succinctly.

As I was just researching for this post, I came across this article with this accompanying picture. I have read a lot about ADHD but this is the first visual that has brought home the reality of ADHD being an inclusive disorder. ADHD takes pieces from the rest of the disorders. For the first time, my husband’s ADHD also explains his tick of constant blinking (that in others would mean Tourette’s), his social anxiety, and some of his OCD tendencies such as never having dirty hands and always wearing socks with shoes.


This post has gotten quite long and so I think it’s time to split it into two. Coming next will be ways that we have successfully navigated through ADHD. The simple answer is we have remained loyal to one another, have sought out professional help, and never stopped loving one another, but stay tuned for some more specific helpers.