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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Do you ever...

...just want to apologize to your kids for their poor fortune in inheriting your worst qualities and traits?  Or for their genetic makeup that was not of their choosing(obviously)?  I don't know...maybe I am the only one. 

I was thinking about this after a recent discussion with Katherine's teacher.  You all know (well anybody that has been following this blog for a while knows) that my oldest daughter Emily has ADD.  I don't think I or my parents necessarily realized it at the time but reflecting back, and looking at myself now as an adult, there isn't a doubt in my mind that I am the picture perfect painting of someone with attentional issues.  It manifests in different ways as an adult.  I am the world's worst procrastinator(though I do find that under pressure is the only way I work to my capacity).  I jump from one thing to another before I have finished the first thing.  My follow through skills leave a lot to be desired.  I would literally forget my entire life if I didn't have it staring me down in multiple locations...calendars, post it notes, electronic devices etc.  I can't even tell you what I am doing tomorrow without consulting my calendar.  I don't plan anything that I am not forced to (for example scheduled appointments).

For Emily, her concerns are a direct result of her confirmed medical issues.  After she was diagnosed with Epilepsy, as part of a normal barrage of testing to find out if her seizures had a definable cause, her MRI came back showing a "never before seen" abnormality in the frontal lobes of her brain.  Since the frontal lobes control all things like attention and other executive functions, Emily's concerns in this area make sense.  Though I have never had an MRI of my brain, I have no reason to believe that I have this same condition, nor do I for Katherine who is progressively displaying some of the same symptoms her sister and I have displayed, and some different ones as well.

It becomes clearer to me as we move through this life that these types of things obviously "run" in families.  Whether there is an identifiable medical concern that could cause such attention deficits as in Emily's case, or if it is some intricate part of our genetic make up, I do not know.  It is possible that simply the way we live our everyday lives has some influence on this as well.  Are we making the right decisions about certain things?  Could situations be handled in different ways achieving different outcomes in regard to the level of attention that is given?

I don't know the answers and I suspect I never will, at least not in a concrete sort of way.  What I do know is this: I need to get rid of the guilt. I also need to remind myself that they may have gotten the worst but they also got the best of me.  And if the best of me is some of what I see in them everyday?  The best of me is pretty damn good.

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