The Green Pepper Gift

Earlier in the summer, when our garden was producing pleasant vegetables, I often had a variety of our produce on the kitchen counter.  Sometimes I would let Aaron take a few cucumbers or squash or peppers to some of the staff at his day group.  He especially liked giving these treats to Barb, one of the staff there with whom he has formed a close bond.  Barb is a mom herself, soft-spoken and kind, so Aaron responds well to her.  She is patient with Aaron, and even allows him to get on her computer……….so this has propelled Barb way up on Aaron’s list of favorite people.

It’s been awhile since we had any fresh produce to share, as our garden has become very unpleasant……..dried up and brown and ugly.  Therefore, yesterday I bought some cucumbers and some bell peppers at Aldi.  They were laying on the kitchen counter this morning, waiting for me to find a place for them in the frig.  Aaron and I were busy getting ready this morning.  He was more hyper than usual, bouncing from his movie that he was watching……..to my room to talk to me……….to the kitchen to drink his coffee……..back up the stairs to talk to me some more…………..to his room……….

I knew that he had bagged up some of the croissants that he bought yesterday at Wal-Mart (Yes!  More croissants!), but as he got his shoes and socks on in the family room, I noticed an extra bag.  I asked him about it and he did NOT want me to look at it.  I asked him what was in the bag and he bristled.  Earlier he had been telling me about a character in his Star Wars game and he said, “Mom, she did a fuss with somebody!”

Well, Aaron did a fuss with me at that point!  I could tell that he might do a big fuss with me, but I insisted on knowing what was in the bag, so he sharply told me that he was taking Barb some…………green peppers.  Yes, green peppers………….that I had bought at Aldi………..all three of my new Aldi green peppers!  He had my green peppers in the bag for Barb.  I explained that these were not garden green peppers – that these were store bought green peppers – from the store – that I had paid for – that I needed – and that Barb probably did not need – my green peppers.

Aaron would have none of that.  For some reason, he really wanted Barb to have these peppers………really, really wanted Barb to have these peppers.  So out to the van we went, Aaron holding his bag of croissants………and the bag of green peppers………my green peppers………from the store……..that I had bought……

We were silent on the way to Quik-Trip to meet his group.  He knew that I was frustrated.  I knew that he and I would do a big fuss if I said much more.  As we drove, and listened to the Supremes, Aaron softened and tried to talk.  I remained mostly silent.  Finally, we pulled up to Quik Trip.  Aaron reached into the bag that had the green peppers………my green peppers……….and quickly broke the plastic wrap and pulled out one large, pretty pepper.

“Mom, can I take Barb just one pepper?” he asked as he opened the door to make his exit………..with the one green pepper……….my green pepper.  I mumbled a yes and he settled into Cody’s car, with his bag of croissants and his bag with the one green pepper.

We got through this episode without doing a big fuss, as Aaron would say.  And again I must weigh the pros and cons of Aaron taking this strange gift to Barb………..the green pepper gift……..my green peppers from Aldi……..and I mentally scratch my head.  Who can know what prompted him to grab this unusual gift for his special friend?  How can I encourage his kindness and generosity but teach him wisdom………..about giving away our food.  What will it be next that he decides to stuff in a bag and give away?  I don’t mind giving people things at all………but Aaron will take freedoms with this that we never intended.  He always does.

And I imagine that Barb scratched her head as Aaron handed her the bag……….with a green pepper………….from Aldi.  Aaron said that she laughed.  I should probably call her and explain………and hide the cucumbers tonight.

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