Aaron notices a person’s characteristics and will, of course, talk about them. We just usually hope he’ll wait to do the talking until he isn’t in that person’s presence. That’s because often his observations are…….well…….blunt, let’s just say. Not necessarily complimentary. In other ways he may even sound derogatory, like talking about some one’s skin color, eye shape, etc. Those are very touchy subjects and we have talked until we’re blue in the face to him about not saying anything about any one’s race or gender or ANYTHING!!! Just be nice to everybody, Aaron, and appreciate their uniqueness. And actually, if our faces turned blue I can only imagine what Aaron would have to say about THAT!!
We have taught Aaron that God loves all people and that we should love all people, too. So when Aaron talks about someone, he isn’t doing it in a malicious way. It’s just that he notices everything about his surroundings and the people in those surroundings – and he WILL talk about it, do or die! He’ll observe someone and then say, “That’s weird!” or “They’re weird!” – and off he’ll chatter as he tells us why they are “weird.” It may be hair color, piercings, weight (look in the mirror, Aaron!), accent, skin color, or any number of other personal traits.
Recently he told me that he was eating lunch in Subway when he was out with his group. He said that he noticed a “little child” sitting with her mother. This child had a mark on her face. Aaron was intrigued by this mark. I stopped as Aaron told me this incident and was looking for a chair to sit in because I just knew that Aaron had probably done something very insensitive. I was right. Aaron asked the mother, “Did your child get punched in the face?”
Oh. My. Goodness.
Since I had not received a phone call about Aaron being banned from Subway or arrested, and he didn’t have a slap mark across his face, I was hoping that this mother understood and was patient with Aaron. He said that the girl’s mother told him it was a birthmark. Bless her heart. I know that Aaron’s remark may have opened a wound and I appreciate what I assume was kindness that she showed toward Aaron’s insensitivity. I also have to say that I am thankful I wasn’t there to suffer the embarrassment that this would have caused. Sigh. Anyway, Aaron wanted to know all about birthmarks and so that led to a long conversation about what a birthmark is, and what NOT to say. Aaron has a very hard time with what NOT to say, believe me!
Today he was watching TV before he left for his group. He was fascinated by a man who was talking with an accent. “Mom, that man is talking with an accent from the west.”
From the west?
“Yeah! You know, like from the European.”
No, Aaron, I have no idea what an accent from the west that is also from the European sounds like. But without looking, since I couldn’t see the TV, I’d say he sounds like he’s from India.
“YES!!! Like my short little doctor with the dark skin who is from India!!”
See? Aaron’s intriguing little doctor from India is full of characteristics that capture Aaron’s attention – and he doesn’t miss any of them!
The staff from Aaron’s day group that drives him home was another person of interest to Aaron. Her name is Tau…….not sure of that spelling but it rhymes with “wow.” Which is what I said when Aaron told me one day, “Mom, my staff who drives me home is named Tau. I think she’s African!”
Really, Aaron? Tau does not sound remotely African to me, but I realize that I could be wrong.
I wasn’t. Aaron was delighted when I met Tau one day in our driveway when she dropped Aaron off. Tau is as Oriental as she can be. In front of Tau, Aaron bent over at his waist and rubbed his hands together in delight as he told me to ask her where she’s from. Oh Aaron. Tau just laughed as I told her that Aaron was wondering where she was from. She answered with a smile and said, “I’m from Vietnam.” When I told her that Aaron thought she was African, she threw her head back and laughed loudly.
We look at maps with Aaron. We point out where country’s are located. But we don’t like to talk about how people look and that this person who looks this way is probably from this country. I don’t know – maybe we need to because I can only imagine what Aaron has in mind when he talks about someone who lives in Vietnam but is African with an accent from the west that is from the European.
Talk about global!!