I’m grateful for the man who is marrying my daughter next spring, and for his spirited family. I’m Greg Focker in this circle of trust, and fortunately, the future father-in-law is not Jack Byrnes. We are visiting the parents in their Charleston neighborhood where alligators sometimes emerge from the surrounding waters (not a metaphorical reference!). The thought of encountering one of these creatures on my morning walks creates a great opportunity to practice mindful awareness.
I’m grateful for the young woman at the Southwest Airlines gate for believing me when we arrived here. I had insisted, after her first fruitless search of the plane for my cell phone, that the phone was definitely there. If she didn’t look again, my phone would travel to Baltimore. I told her precisely where she could find it…left side of the plane by the wing, in the pocket in front of the aisle seat. A second search produced the phone, and our gracious hosts were waiting politely for me at curbside, just outside the baggage claim area. Retired people are so patient!
It doesn’t bother me so much on vacations that I have ADHD. It’s just inconvenient for others, and yet sometimes it can be mildly entertaining. Having left home in a hurry, without my deodorant, was not a problem because Howie, the future father-in-law, uses a spray and was willing to share. When my wife went out with Ellen to get groceries, I discreetly texted her this message: “In the unlikely event that you are going to be in a place where they sell underwear, I wear a medium.” I learned later that her burst of laughter made it impossible for her to be discrete. I’m grateful that my wife can still laugh about such a serious matter…seriously!
I’m grateful for Alan, our hosts’ neighbor who has ADHD. He is among the small—but growing—percentage of African Americans who get diagnosed and treated. After a long and pleasant chat with Alan, I proposed, with sincere empathy, a gift for his wife: Melissa Orlov’s book, The ADHD Effect on Marriage. I told him of my recent ADHD “tricks,” and we talked about what it means to be living well with ADHD. It will not go away, we agreed, but Alan knows that his success in selling medical lab supplies has something to do with his resourceful brain. His family enjoys living in this peaceful community, and my walk in his neighborhood on this foggy morning–and I don’t mean mental fog–begins now.