Aaron came home on Tuesday from his group, carrying a bag full of treasures…….. with some in his pocket, too. “Mom!” he yelled as he burst in the door. “Mom!” I was upstairs cleaning and soon he found me. “Mom!”
Well my goodness, Aaron. What is it?
That morning I had stopped with him at Dillons on our way to his group. He had wanted some peanuts – normal nuts, as he calls them – and so the first thing that he pulled out of his bag was the jar of peanuts………..only half eaten.
“Mom! Look! I didn’t pig on my peanuts!!”
He was quite proud of this accomplishment since normally he DOES most definitely pig on his peanuts……….and many other snacks as well.
He continued. “Is it good that I didn’t pig on my peanuts?”
Yes, Aaron! It’s very good that you didn’t pig on your peanuts! It was funny to adopt his phrasing and I had to smile, even as he enthusiastically continued to look in his plastic bag that was still heavy with his treasures.
Gary had come home early and Aaron had stopped to show him one particular find of his. Out of his bag he pulled a screwdriver as he told me that Brandy and Barb had taken him and Rosie with them to run some errands. “Mom, we went to Ace Hardware. That’s a dumb store!” Aaron thinks it’s a dumb store because it’s full of things that are of little interest to him………although he does enjoy looking at all the unusual varieties of toilets. What can I say?
Anyway, Aaron told me, “Mom, I found this screwdriver outside on the sidewalk.” I looked at it and could tell it wasn’t new as I worried that he may have snuck a new one in his pocket from the store shelf. He went on. “Dad said that you could have the screwdriver and you could put it on a high kitchen shelf. Do you have a high kitchen shelf?” I knew the reason that Gary suggested a high kitchen shelf. A high shelf would discourage Aaron from putting the screwdriver in his pocket again and using it for some unwelcome experimenting.
He hardly paused before he reached into his bag again. “Mom, we went to another store and look what Brandy bought me!” He pulled out a full can of mixed nuts, which are not normal nuts. Aaron loves these nuts, as demonstrated later when he told us about the nuts with wrappers (skins) and the wrinkled nuts (pecans). I knew he would enjoy this special treat over the holiday.
But he wasn’t through. “And Mom, Brandy bought something for me to give to you. Do you like Gummy Bears?” He handed me a bag of colorful Gummy Bears even as I assured him that I liked Gummy Bears……….knowing that they aren’t my favorite, as Aaron says, but relishing the fact that Aaron wanted to get me a special treat. The screwdriver was nice, but the Gummy Bears were very special. They were more a symbol from Aaron’s heart of something personal for Mom…….Gummy Bears!
From his pocket he pulled some money that Brandy had said he could have……….money that he found in her van. I did check later with Brandy to confirm that story. What an exciting day Aaron had! He was showing it, too, in his happy voice and his animated demeanor. But there was one more thing.
The bag was sagging downward as he reached inside and pulled out a rather large, odd…….rock. Somewhere Aaron had spied this rock and had grabbed it up to bring home and show Mom and Dad. “Mom, look at what I found!!” he said as he held the rock aloft for me to see. “Can I keep this rock in my room?”
Oh brother! We have had so many rocks in Aaron’s room, collecting dust on top of his dresser or bookcase, or ending up under his bed. I’ve been trying to keep his room decluttered with all these finds of his. But Aaron had found another special rock, different from any others. They all are. And then it came to me!
“Aaron, let’s put this rock out in the flower bed, in the mulch!”
He thought that this was a grand idea, so I left my scrubbing to go outside with him. He carried the rock, not sure that he could trust me yet to not toss it away. We found a place to situate the rock, but first I asked Aaron if I could take a picture of him with his special rock. He was happy to do so, and he held the rock up joyfully as I snapped a picture. You can see the delight on his face and the joy of this simple find………….a rock.
And I realized that once again, Aaron has given me a moment to pause and think of life’s simple pleasures that are too often overlooked. Especially during this season of thanksgiving, I hope that I will realize that life is about more than sitting down at a table full of food to “pig on!” I also need to slow down and to notice the mundane and the routine………..and to thank God for each one. Each normal nut and each wrapped nut and each wrinkled nut………….each screwdriver…………each bag of Gummy Bears………….and each rock.
God has put them all in my life for a reason – a very special reason. Just like he’s put Aaron in my life for a reason.
Very special, indeed!