No Excuses

Some of us find a way. Some of us find an excuse. Maybe you’re putting off that check engine light because you just don’t have time. Perhaps you want to start that new diet… tomorrow. Your knee hurts. Your backs hurts. Your shoulder hurts. You’ve got a headache. This month ends in Y.

The list of excuses is only limited by our imaginations. I have witnessed some expending more energy at making excuses than it would take to just do whatever it is they’re making excuses for.

When our oldest brought home some math homework last week, I rejoiced at seeing that it was multiplication. Double digit times a single digit, to be a exact. I knew he could do it. However, we were kind of taken aback when he told us that the rest of the class had to complete two rows (10 problems) while he had to finish just one (5 problems). We knew what the teacher was thinking, and I don’t blame the teacher at all. He has ADD so they were trying to make things manageable for him.

However, we knew better. We are not about to let his diagnosis be a crutch. Naturally, he argued with us. He’d argue with Satan himself, so the arguing wasn’t anything new to us.

My teacher said I only have to one row!

“We know what your teacher said, but you can do this multiplication. You are NOT going to use ADD as an excuse to not do the work we all, yourself included, know you can do.”

He didn’t get it at first. He couldn’t understand how he was using his diagnosis to get out of doing work. His teacher assigned fewer problems for him specifically. Instead of looking at the work and thinking “I can do this” he looked at it and said “HA! I only have to 5 problems instead of 10.” Because he has two teachers for parents, we made him complete two rows. School was out the next day because of a snow storm. We made him do two more rows anyway. School was out the day after that, too, because of a power outage. We made him do the last two rows.

What we fear is that he’ll see his ADD diagnosis as a crutch, an excuse, a limitation. I highly doubt Justin Timberlake, Jim Carey, Will Smith, Michael Phelps, Sir Richard Branson, Howie Mandel, Michelle Rodriguez, and countless others see their ADHD has a limitation. They certainly wouldn’t be where they are today if they did. The world already sets so many limitations that we don’t need to start imposing them on ourselves. I don’t ever expect him to say “Give me more work,” but I will expect him to do the work I know he is capable of doing.