I have been hiding behind the skirts of my trusted friend, Maybe, for over seven years. I have taken full advantage of her generosity and have camped out, almost exclusively, in her company. Her patience for my continued presence has been unwavering and never have I been encouraged to seek companionship elsewhere. If ever I have found myself running short of new possibilities for Michael’s daily challenges, my trusted cohort has been able to swiftly supply me with a fresh batch of maybes that I could chase eagerly like an enthusiastic child with a butterfly net.

Maybe has allowed me to shield myself not only from the painful truth of an ADHD diagnosis but also the daily struggles of my beloved child. As Michael’s behaviour has become progressively more violent and impulsive and our home life almost unbearable, the maybes have been coming thick and fast. My list of accumulated maybes over the years would make for an impressive tome were they ever to be collected in one volume. I have included a short sampling to demonstrate the gist of my concerted and sometimes desperate efforts to keep my head firmly buried in the sand.

Maybe all Michael needs is;

  • A more patient mother
  • More love
  • More effort
  • More creative thinking
  • More snuggling
  • Less yelling
  • Less chaos
  • A chiropractor
  • An osteopath
  • A healer
  • A new healer
  • A massage therapist
  • A naturopath
  • A movement kinesiology therapist
  • A child psychologist
  • More sleep
  • A run before school
  • Organic food
  • More sun
  • More water
  • Less TV
  • Less video games
  • Less candy
  • More vitamins
  • A calmer family environment
  • Time away from his brothers
  • Dancing lessons
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • A change of scene
  • A new school
  • A more patient teacher
  • A younger teacher
  • An older teacher
  • A less structured classroom
  • A more structured classroom
  • Calmer friends
  • Less boys around him
  • A vigorous walk to school every morning

I clung to each new maybe as if I was drowning and my life depended not only upon its existence but also its success. If the last maybe didn’t work it was time to dream up the next one and jump on the newest bandwagon. The biggest maybe came on the 27th of March when we moved from our beautiful house to be within walking distance of the alternative school to which we had relocated last year in a desperate attempt to improve Michael’s situation. I had resolutely decided that all Michael’s struggles were going to miraculously come to an end the day we moved and the last maybe on my long list was going to be our Holy Grail. All he needed was consistent and vigorous exercise every morning.

It seemed that my hunch with regards to moving was accurate and the month of April was idyllic. We had warm and sunny days, hours in the park and happy walks to and from school. Michael’s teacher reported a dramatic change in his behaviour and he was happier than I had ever seen him. I had decided that Michael’s psychologist was wrong and he did not have ADHD; he simply needed more exercise. As April drew to a close I felt more optimistic about our family than I ever had. The conflict and violence between the boys at home remained but I was so accustomed to that aspect of my life it didn’t matter as long as school was finally settled. Life was good.

What I didn’t know was that the tsunami was simply gathering force and was set to strike. I didn’t know that the time for maybe was about to come to a crashing standstill. I didn’t know that the bottom was about to drop out of life as I knew it. I was still happily clinging to the skirts of my trusted companion and dreaming up the next maybe…just in case.

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