What young love is like for my teen and his girlfriend — ADHDers both.Life in the Fast Brain | posted by Kristen Caven
The lovely young lady is smart, cute, poetic, and funny. The two of them click as only two outside-the-box thinkers can, traveling on bursts of imagination and creating sweetness together. They both love hamburgers and unpretentious people. They even take the same medication!
As is our family’s way, we gave her a nickname. “Busy” has always got something to say and something to do. A short ride in the car with her takes you on a long journey with her interesting ancestors who were involved in historical events. It’s sometimes hard to get a word in edgewise, but she’s so charming you don’t really mind.
Together, the two of them have decided the difference between having hyperactive or combined-type ADHD (what she has) and inattentive-type ADHD (what he has) is that with the first kind, you can’t stop doing cartwheels. With the inattentive type, you can’t stop doing cartwheels in your mind.
Sadly, since school has gotten out, the unstructured nature of summertime has challenged young love. First, there is the busy-ness; for weeks at a time, one or the other is off and away on the adventures that breaks bring: Camps, sleepovers, and family trips. And when they’re both in town, one or the other of them sleeps until noon, or their phone has run out of batteries, or someone just spaces out. For days, Busy had so many sleepovers she lost track of time and forgot they had plans. Enzo’s heart broke, thinking she wasn’t interested anymore.
It was one of those challenging parenting moments. “Dave” and I had to fight the urge (sometimes winning, sometimes losing) to get involved and try to solve things. Busy’s folks were worried, too, aware that her cartwheels were making her beau’s head spin. The four of us bit our nails for days, hating to see Enzo in pain, doing inner cartwheels around this unintended rejection. We only sent midnight texts to each other once.
Eventually the moment came when Enzo asked for the car keys to go camp out on her doorstep. He came back with a smile on his face after hearing how insomnia had been playing havoc with her attention. He had tucked her into bed early, kissed her goodnight, and told her he understood.