This past weekend, Gary and I took Andrea to Fort Worth. She’s been accepted as a grad student at the University of North Texas Health Sciences Center and will be entering the Forensic Genetics program. This is so exciting for all of us! We left on Friday afternoon and returned on Sunday evening………..much to Aaron’s dismay. Not the leaving part……….our returning was dismaying to him.
Of course, Aaron can’t be left alone for that length of time. Krysten, one of his Paradigm (day group) staff, came to stay with him for the weekend. Krysten knows Aaron well………understands Aaron well…………and is very laid back and patient. These are requirements for anyone who will be attending to Aaron for any stretch of time that exceeds five minutes. She did a great job and survived fairly unscathed – I think. I haven’t actually seen her since we returned, as she had to leave before we came back to the house. We texted and talked some over the weekend. I do hope that she is whole and unharmed………..she sounded like it. I guess no news from her since we returned is good news.
As for Aaron, he had a blast! No worries there at all. He called a couple times while we were gone. He loved eating out on Friday night at Applebee’s. He was especially excited to tell me about someone there who was drinking beer. “Mom! Could I have had some beer?” I could hear Krysten laughing in the background.
No, Aaron, you cannot have beer. You know that………I know that………Krysten knows that. But he still had to ask why he can’t have beer, so over the phone we had that discussion again for the umpteenth time.
He was also very happy about ordering pizza on Saturday night and renting a movie. “Mom, I wanted to get the chainsaw movie!” Again, I heard Krysten laughing in the background. “But Krysten said that I couldn’t get the chainsaw movie.” Thank you, Krysten. “So we got one called Tornado Alley instead.”
That’s a much better choice, Aaron. “But why couldn’t I get the chainsaw movie?” So over the phone we had the “why you can’t get the chainsaw movie” discussion again for the umpteenth time.
We also had the “why you don’t need to feed Jackson bread sticks” discussion; the “why you don’t need to feed Jackson pizza” discussion; the “why you don’t need to feed Jackson chips” discussion…………..and I don’t remember what else because at that point I had put myself on auto-pilot and was doing more of a “uh-huh” routine as I told Aaron that I really needed to get off the phone.
Then I told Aaron when we were coming home. His response………..”Can you take your time coming home? I like being with Krysten.”
I have told you that Aaron is very blunt, right?
But it says a lot that Aaron is happy with her and was having fun. We like knowing that, and are relieved to know that we can ask Krysten to come again. Which we’ve already done, for early August when we move Andrea to Fort Worth. Krysten said that she would come if possible. Wonder if she’s checking plane tickets for that time, though?
When we actually got in the house yesterday before 5:00, Aaron was pretty unaffected to see us. He didn’t come downstairs for quite awhile because he was at a pivotal point in his computer game. No surprise there. Andrea was getting ready to leave, so Aaron asked, “Andrea! I got some chips while you were gone. Do you want to take them back with you?” He really wanted her to have them and so she said yes.
How nice of Aaron! We were suspicious, though, so I asked, “Aaron, do you like these chips?”
And he flatly answered, “No.” Uh-huh. His kindness was a ploy to get rid of his unwanted chips. Oh well. We laughed and he stood there like we were being very boring and went back inside after his deed of dumping the unwanted chips was done. Maybe not the purest of motives but at least he was giving, right? We’ll take it!
Later he told Gary and I about going to Target with Krysten, and how he wore his sweater, and how a man looked at him like he was strange. His assessment of that…..”That man thought I was strange because of my sweater! I wonder why he thought my sweater was strange?”
Gary and I smiled at each other……….our knowing smile. I doubt if it was the sweater that this man thought was strange. Ah, Aaron – he’s happy and he’s not at all bothered about being a little strange, sweater or not. Too bad I wasn’t there. I’m pretty good at stare-downs anymore! Bring it on! I can stare right back with the best of them!
Believe me – I’ve had plenty of practice. And it’s good to be home!