Aaron has always had the sharpest eye of anyone I’ve ever known. He’s also very curious. I can’t begin to count the number of times we’ve heard him say, “I was just curious……..” and then proceed to tell us or show us what he was just curious about. His other favorite comment is, “I was just looking.” And my repeated response to that statement is, “Aaron, you never just look. You touch, and pick up, and open, and taste……….” My statement has never, ever made a difference in Aaron’s touching, and picking up, and opening, and tasting.
Sometimes it’s a good thing that he has an eagle eye. He has found money in parking lots, or even found wallets, and is very proud to turn these items in to the store where he found them. We’ve let him keep small amounts of money, and of course that makes him very happy. Even a penny, to Aaron, is a worthy find that pleases him greatly. Other finds are not so good. He’s often come home with someone’s hair band or hair clip that he’s found laying somewhere and stuffed in his pocket. Yuck! I never know what he’ll pull out of his pocket on any given day after he comes home from his group. When he was younger, and attended school in Germany on our military post, he came home with quite an assortment of treasures. He had a box that held the treasures that I let him keep, so nearly every day after he showed me what he had found and if I let him keep it, off he would trot to his room to deposit his new item in the box. One day he came home with something that wouldn’t fit into his pocket. He was pushing a bike! And I made him push it right back to the dumpster where he found it!
Then there was the day in second grade that I’ll never forget. As Aaron walked the short distance to his school, he passed by a set of military quarters that were being repaired and painted. On this particular day, Aaron was sitting in his reading group and the volunteer mom on that day was reading to this sweet little group…………when out of his pocket Aaron pulled a box cutter. Yes, a box cutter! He found it on the ground near the building that was being remodeled. I don’t know the exact sequence of events after that point, but I do know that the mom was calm and the teacher was summoned and the box cutter was taken away and then I received a nice little call from the school principal. I remember saying, “Aaron did WHAT?!” and then walking to the school towing little Andrew with me as I wondered how long Aaron would be suspended. However, the staff was very kind and understanding. Aaron was given a good talking to and had some fear put in his heart – but over time he continued to stuff his pockets full of whatever caught his eye – just never another box cutter.
Golf balls have always been a favorite of his. Don’t ask me where he’s found all the golf balls over the years, but his nightstand drawer is still totally full of his golf ball acquisitions gathered over the years. He refuses to part with them so there they stay, safe and useless but of great meaning to Aaron. Another great favorite of his is ball point pens. He has dozens of pens from businesses that I know he’s never been to………at least that I know of………..but somehow he finds these pens and into his pocket they go. Or we’ve come home from stores or from doctor’s offices, and the next thing I know, I find a pen from that place laying on his desk. He is very quick and very sly about slipping pens into his pocket when we’re standing at a doctor’s office and signing in, or at Great Clips for a hair cut, or at the grocery store…………he’s not choosy about where his pens come from. I’ve learned to tell him right away to stay away from the pens, no matter where we are………..but sometimes he still slips by my not-so-sharp eyes and comes home with a new pen. Oh well!
When Aaron eats, he somehow and for some reason must have multiple pieces of silverware. I always give him a spoon, even if we’re having pizza, but no matter what we eat and no matter what silverware I set out, he will quietly……..as quietly as Aaron can be…………edge over to the silverware drawer and pick out several more pieces. The other night I had given him a fork, a spoon, and a knife……….and as we were getting ready to sit down, I saw Aaron ease open the silverware drawer and quietly slide one more fork, one more knife, and one more spoon into his pocket. The problem was that he was wearing soft nylon sport shorts with an elastic waste. He looked hilarious as he tried to walk slowly and quietly across the kitchen floor with his pocket bulging and the silverware softly clanging against his leg………..and his pants starting to slide down from the weight of the hidden silverware. I hid my face and chuckled, and didn’t let on that I saw him as he sat very gingerly on the chair…………clang, clang…………and attempted to not get pierced by the fork and to remove them without Mom and Dad catching on. There is no reason to correct him.
Today Aaron came home from his group and clomped upstairs, where I was vacuuming. I turned off the vacuum because I knew that what Aaron had to say would not wait, and I did want to find out about his day. I sat on the bed and he sat in my chair, telling me about watching Men in Black at the theater and eating his large buttered popcorn and getting a refill and not being hungry now and how Men in Black is not his favorite movie and he wished he could have seen Battleship again……………no surprise to any of this. No surprise, either, when he stuck his hand in his pocket and pulled out his wallet………..and then said, “Oh, here Mom. I got you a magnet from the theater so you can put it on the frig.” Out of his pocket came the magnet. And then, “Oh yeah, I got these, too.”
I turned around to see him pulling out of his bottomless pocket a HUGE wad of napkins. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that Aaron seems to have a need for multiple napkins at every meal……….but this stack of napkins was really overkill! Good grief, Aaron! He had enough napkins for several rows of theater patrons!
“Mom, what’s wrong with getting some napkins?”
Aaron, nothing is wrong with getting a few napkins. Getting this massive amount is ridiculous!
“Mom, how many napkins do you get?”
Aaron, I get one or two.
And he asked, “Why?”
Because my pockets are not as deep as yours, Aaron! That seems to be all he understands anyway!