Living the Good Life

The following is a story Randy started writing in Microsoft Word. It was only a few weeks after the boys came to live with us. The moonwalk is actually a trampoline. The dog was sixteen years old and has since died of old age and the boys now have a younger, friskier, bigger dog that loves kids and we have added one cat to the collection. Other than that, I think it is still a pretty accurate account.


Hello it was hard getting here. I was not doing well before and so we came here to live. We have five cats and one dog. We have fun living here. My aunt and uncle have taken us in so we have a lot of good things like a moonwalk

And that is where it ends. He saved it in ‘my documents’ and never went back to finish it. I stumbled across it one day and made a copy for his caseworker at the ADHD clinic he attended. She had been assigned to his case when he was six years old; he was twelve when he and his little brother came to live with us and he wrote this. She cared deeply for him and probably still carries his unfinished note around in her wallet. I’m sure he used spell check and there was some exaggeration referring to the moonwalk. We got the boys a trampoline, that must be what he was referring to.

Occasionally when I am using Word, I will pull these few words up and read them. It is like reading inspirational scripture or a thought for the day at the bottom of a calendar. Reading his words makes me feel good. It reminds me that through all the tantrums, misunderstandings, the “NO, because I said so’s”, the kids are happy here. We are happy that they are here. We are working on our third year together. We know each other a lot better. We still love each other, despite it all. Not only have we learned how to deal with their issues, they have learned how to deal with ours. After all, isn’t that a big part of loving each other?

Randy and I sat across from each other in the exam room at the doctor’s office this afternoon. We were there for his three month check up to get his ADHD prescription, acne medication, and to have the doctor check out his tonsils while we were at it. I believe in getting some bang for the buck. If they gave haircuts and tutorials, I would’ve included that in the visit.

We were having a pretty heated conversation while waiting for the doctor. The topic was his report card grade in Chemistry. He is a consistent A and B student. Rarely we have a dip in grades, and he is quick to pull it right back up to a B or better. This was serious. This was a semester grade. He had fallen from a solid B to a low C. I was unrelenting; he was argumentative. My line of reasoning was to build a good grade foundation for college. His contention, it was his teacher’s fault. I shifted from the “Unacceptable Grade” lecture to the “Being Accountable” lecture. Randy became sullen and sassy. I moved on to the “Respect Your Elders” lecture. He let out a frustrated sigh and told me I just didn’t understand. I quickly changed gears and went to the “I Have Lived Longer and Know More Than You” lecture. He gave up. The doctor walked in and asked how we were doing. We both smiled brightly and said fine. I held back the urge to drag him into the argument. I am relentless at times.

On the way home, Randy and I talked about the new semester. We talked about ways to improve his Chemistry grade. We were in agreement on having a meeting with his teacher together and see what ideas she has to help improve his grade. He informed me that chemistry class was a combination of math and science and it was hard. I told him I understood. I remembered to congratulate him on his other class grades; they were excellent. He felt better. Just before we turned on the street to our house, he said something that made me pull up his unfinished story and read it tonight. He told me even when I’m grumpy and I don’t understand him; I was ok. He went on to say, he was good where he was at. I took that to mean he was still happy living here.