My Younger Brother Is No Help

There’s one thing you should know about me: I’m the third child in a family of four boys. All boys, my friends. Good times were had.

There’s another thing you should know about me: I have ADHD. And unless you have it, you don’t fully get what it’s like to have it. Living with ADHD is an EXPERIENCE.

But you know what makes that experience more entertaining? Living with three brothers who also have ADHD.

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, on a crisp fall day, little seven year old Joseph decided to go on a bike ride. This was a pretty common thing for little seven year old Joseph, and from what I understand, for most kids as well.

But if you remember correctly, things didn’t always go very smoothly for me at that age.

The street I grew up on had a big hill on one end that curved. I say “had” as if the street has since straightened and flattened itself out. It has not, I know this, because I still drive on it when I go visit my parents.

But as a child, that hill was MASSIVE, and there was nothing in the world more thrilling than speeding down that hill on a bike at full speed, heading straight into an intersection that you were only a little bit sure nobody was driving up to at that moment.

You add in the fact that it was a slope AND a curve and not only are math teachers now getting excited, but it was an added seven year old adrenaline boost.

I truly lived life on the wild side.

On this particular fall day, just like every other time I decided to go flying down this hill, I hadn’t really thought much about what would happen if something went wrong. Hey, it was more fun not to think about that. And what could possibly go wrong?

Well, I could hit a patch of dry leaves. That’s what.

The crash wasn’t awful. It was just a little kid hitting leaves while flying down a hill that curves and completely wiping out. There was nothing really dramatic about it. Mainly just skinned knees.

But for a seven year old, skinned knees mean THE END OF THE WORLD.

Thankfully, as I gathered my bike and started hobbling up the hill, I spotted Adam, my 3 year old younger brother, standing in our front yard.

Here is a picture that perfectly captures mine and Adam’s relationship as children:

"Adorable" wasn't usually the way people described me

Now, I know you may have questions about why a three year old was outside unattended, but you don’t know Adam. It’s not that my parents weren’t paying attention. Adam just wandered around. Still does. He never gets hurt. He never gets lost. He just disappears. It happens. So him only being in the front yard, playing with toys, and not in the top of a bedroom closet for some reason? It’s a victory.


Adam clearly understood the gravity of the situation and sprung into action, running as fast as his tiny legs could carry him.

I don’t really know what I expected my mom to do here. Looking back, it’s clear she wouldn’t call an ambulance. I guess I just really wanted curbside delivery on my hydrogen peroxide.

But she never came out of the house. I continued my crippled journey unassisted, slowly moving towards the front door on my leg that I just knew would have to be amputated. After all, I skinned my knee, people.

Finally, after what seemed like an hour of dragging myself across the burning asphalt (which was really about three minutes of limping which really only took that long because I had to walk my bike with me), I got to the door and went inside.

I was greeted by nobody. My mother was right inside the house, as she had been watching Adam from out of the window. She looked at me and (keep in mind she raised two other boys before me) and very warmly comforted me with “So, what’s wrong with YOU?”

Okay, she might not have said it QUITE like that.

But I was dumbfounded. How could she not know? I trust Adam to deliver this message. He KNEW the importance of it! He saw the blood! He saw the agony! How? What happened to Adam?

“What? Did Adam not tell you? Where is he? Did he make it home safely?” I asked, worried that somehow the ten foot journey from the front yard to the door had gone horribly wrong for Adam.

“Um….yeah. He’s right there.”

Adam was just fine, standing in the living room in front of the television. It was on when he walked in the house, and he had gotten distracted by it.

So, my friends, when you try to trust an important task to a kid with ADHD, this is what happens.


12 thoughts on “My Younger Brother Is No Help

  1. As a person who also suffers from ADHD, I am constantly reminded by peers that “ADHD affects everyone around you.”

  2. My mom had a strict jeans rule in regards to any recreational activity on wheels. I don’t really remember if it helped much, but the general idea was to make it to adulthood without permanent scar tissue for knees

  3. I know I was 3 and all and don’t really recall clearly what happened, but I’m almost positive DragonBall Z was on. If so, how could you possibly find me at fault here?!?

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