Home Again, Home Again

Gary and I had a little get-away this past weekend.  We took a quick overnight trip up to Topeka to see our son, Andrew, at the NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park.  He works on the pit crew for Scott Palmer whenever he has the opportunity between college and other responsibilities.  It was fun and interesting to go and watch him work on the top fuel dragster.  Andrea came home for the night on Friday to stay with Aaron.  Aaron was very excited about this.  He loves it when Gary and I are gone for awhile, and someone else is there with him.  I think he sees it as a new opportunity for the things he loves……….which would be food and talking.  Surely this new person will have new food ideas.  And surely this new person will LOVE hearing about all the things that Aaron LOVES talking about.

Of course, Andrea isn’t a new person.  She knows Aaron every bit as well as we do…………and she came anyway.  Way to go, Andrea!  She and I were texting while I was in Topeka, and we talked once.  Aaron kept trying to call me or Gary, but it’s very hard to hear anything at the race track.  Plus I knew what he wanted to talk about and I knew that it could wait.  Our catching up time would come soon enough………..and it did!  Andrea told me to be ready.  You see, Aaron went to the movies Friday with his group and saw the new movie, Battleship.  It doesn’t matter that the review I read was dismal and that the movie had a rating of only 1 1/2 stars.  To Aaron, Battleship is an epic movie…………and when Aaron watches an epic movie, we are all treated to a seemingly endless rerun of all its epicness…………over and over and over again.

Gary and I pulled into the driveway on Saturday evening and before I was out of the van, Aaron came through the garage door.  Of course, as always, there was no “Hi, Mom!”………or “Did you have a good trip?”………….or any other personal comments such as you would expect.  Of course, we don’t expect that from Aaron so it’s no shock or disappointment to us.   We would actually be shocked if he DID say one of those personal things to us!  So Aaron walked to the van and said, “Mom!  I went to see Battleship!”  Well, let’s not waste any time.  We may as well get to the point at hand right away.  After all, Aaron had been saving up his words and I had been saving up my ears.  There was no running away from it now.

As we unloaded the van, greeted big old Great Dane Jackson, and tried to put things away………Aaron was right there, and the commentary was in full swing.  “Mom, Battleship was a good movie!”   And I asked, “So you liked it, Aaron?”  Of course he answered…….”Yeah!  It was a big navy ship!  There were lots of weapons!”   On and on and on Aaron talked, following me as I put things away in the kitchen.  We hadn’t been home more than 15 minutes before I was upstairs staring at his computer screen as he showed me two clips from the Battleship movie on YouTube.  He loved the scene where they took the helmet off the alien and  shined a light in his eye, only to find that he wasn’t really dead, and he raised up off the table, and he grabbed the man by the throat, and everyone was yelling…………..including Aaron…………..and leaning over rubbing his hands together………….Aaron was, not the alien.  Oh my.  How soon would Monday come and Aaron would be going to his group?

We have talked………….actually, Aaron has talked and we have mostly listened…………to all sorts of rehashing of the Battleship movie.  Are the creatures aliens?  Or are the creatures Martians?  What is an alien?  What is a Martian?  Does an alien look like a bear?  Are those soldier guys in the Army or in the Navy or in the Marines?  Why would an alien want sharp teeth?  Would I want to watch Battleship?  When will Battleship be out on DVD?

And then there’s the soldier with the leg prosthesis…………both legs…………..and as Aaron talked about him, I told Aaron that he was a real-life soldier who really had lost his legs in battle.  Aaron doesn’t show much politeness, let’s say, when he talks about things such as this, so I mean no disrespect when I repeat what Aaron had to say.  He was very intrigued by this soldier who had lost his legs and he was especially interested in him after I told Aaron that he was a real soldier.  Aaron paused in thought for a second and then asked, “So, are those REAL fake legs?”  I answered yes, using the term prosthesis, but Aaron clomped downstairs quickly to tell Gary this amazing news.  He soon clomped right back up the steps to continue his movie review with me and said, “I told Dad that was a REAL man with the FAKE legs!”

Last night at supper, as Aaron chowed down on his second helping of Potato Salad and a chicken thigh……….boneless, the way he likes them………….he lowered his voice and in an almost hushed tone, he said, “Do you know what Andrea said?”  He paused and waited for an answer, so I told him no, that I didn’t know what Andrea had said………..and he continued, “Before she left, Andrea told me that it was nice to spend time with me.”  He is so touched by these words…………and so are we.  Aaron does know when he is loved and these words touch a chord in his heart.  How precious that Andrea said those words to him……..and how profound that his heart was touched.  We just never know all that goes on inside our Aaron.

But he does love to talk, and I think Aaron has caught us up on all the news there is to know………and most of it we really didn’t want to know, but I didn’t tell Aaron that.  Last night he and I played two games of Skip-Bo and he talked some more about Battleship…………..and the genetically altered Rats movie that he’s watching now and that I had to go watch a clip of (another story)…………….and many, many other issues that are of interest to Aaron.  Believe me, only to Aaron.  As I finished cleaning up the table and getting ready to fix the coffee pot for the next morning, Aaron sat on the ottoman in the family room……………talking………..even after I had told him to go on up and get ready for bed.

He asked, “Do you want me to just sit here and talk?”  I had to laugh.  He was so serious and so oblivious to my NOT wanting him to just sit there and talk.  It was after 10:00 and I was all talked out, believe me!  So I told him that even though that would be nice, it really was time to go to bed, for all of us………….and so finally he made his way upstairs to his toothbrush and minty mouthwash and his bed with the covers just the way he likes them in the proper order and his Handy Answer Book that he’ll read before he turns his lamp off and writes his going-to-sleep time in his notebook just right and then turns his monitor on for me to hear all night and settles down under his mound of covers with his head on his pillow that he makes sure has the zipper on the correct side……………yes, it’s nice to spend time with Aaron.

A little quiet time is nice, too.  Good night, Aaron.  Morning and more talking will come soon enough.

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