I’ve been on a roller coaster ride this morning. Not literally, of course, but being around Aaron leaves me with that up and down roller coaster feeling……….and with that sensation of wobbly legs you feel when you get off the roller coaster, but also the satisfaction of saying, “I did it!!”
First, there was surprise. I heard Aaron get up and open his bedroom door. I was sure that he would come down the stairs to join me in the kitchen, but instead I heard the bathroom door close and then the shower running. Usually he holds off on showering for as long as possible, hoping on many days to avoid it altogether. That’s why I was surprised to hear him taking a shower right away, willingly. Then when he came downstairs he was actually clean. I can always look at his hair to tell if he has showered. That was surprise number two……the fact that he really did shower while the water was running. And that he was in a good mood.
I soon learned why he was in such a willing, compliant frame of mind. “Mom, can I have the keyboard this morning?” Oh, yes, his motives are becoming clear. He’s happy because it’s Saturday and he’s compliant because he wants his keyboard sooner rather than later. I told him that he could have his keyboard, and then he asked, “So when can I have it?” And I told him that I would see about that………..and asked him about breakfast. Gary and I had earlier enjoyed an omelet and bacon, so I asked Aaron if he wanted some of that yummy omelet and he said no……….but he said yes to the bacon, of course.
He proceeded to get a huge plate for his two pieces of bacon that were already on a plate, but Aaron can’t use the plate that the bacon was already on because he must have a new plate…….and the roller coaster started slowly chugging up the first incline. He poured himself some cereal and dumped milk in the bowl……..lots of milk. I usually ask him if he wants some cereal with his milk, but this funny saying is wasted on Aaron so this morning I saved my breath.
“So have you decided when I can have my keyboard, Mom?” And he clicked his teeth with his spoon because he can’t stand to get his lips messy………chug, chug goes the car on the roller coaster.
I don’t know about the keyboard, Aaron………as he slurps his milky cereal and I try to ignore the irritating sounds. It does no good to remind Aaron to not click his spoon or slurp his cereal. When I do remind him, he just slowly puts the spoon in his mouth and ever so carefully scrapes it over his teeth……with his lips bared back from his teeth like a rabid dog. It’s quite a sight and not one that I want to see this morning.
Aaron got up to get his coffee, and of course spilled some on the floor. That, and the fact that he fed Jackson a cheerio when he knows that he’s not supposed to feed Jackson our food……..even one cheerio because with Aaron it will turn into multiple cheerios……….made my chugging roller coaster car go over the first hill and come barreling down the other side. He can’t help the shaky hands that spill the coffee……and I guess in some ways he can’t handle the impulsiveness that makes him feed the dog. Still, so frustrating!
“So Mom, did you decide when I can have my keyboard?” he asked as I swiffered up the spilled coffee. My threatening look was answer enough for him, so he was quiet for a few seconds before launching off on his favorite topic……..food! Yesterday when he came home from his group, he loudly pushed the door open and loudly exclaimed, “I’M FULL!!!” Tell me something else I don’t know, Aaron. So as he loudly slurped his coffee this morning, he said, “Mom, Allen said he likes those one hot dogs that are called Bratwurst. I’m guessing a Bratwurst is a pig, right?”
Continuing on after discussing pig Bratwurst, he moved along to what he saw at the store. “Mom, guess what I saw in the dairy section? It was that bean casserole. On top of it is that thing that’s kind of crunchy.”
And……”Mom, at Long John Silvers they have those Hush Puppies. You have to curl the bread into a ball.”
Still at Long John Silvers………”Mom, John likes that fish that you have to pull the tail off!!”
Then I later turned around to see him holding the cantaloupe that he saw on the counter. “Mom, I want you to open it!”
We finally headed upstairs, but not before Aaron had to check the weather in the newspaper. This is very important to Aaron. He saw that we have a chance for rain, so he had to discuss and discuss what this means. “A chance means it’s not really!” And we’ll just leave it at that, Aaron. All these discussions are wearing me down as my roller coaster car is inching up another incline……….nearing another downhill lurch that lay just ahead.
We walked into my bedroom and for some reason, Aaron picked up a pin on my desk and scribbled on my box that is a part of my new desk set. He knew right away that he had goofed big time as I gasped. I went on and on about why he did that as I tried to scrub the ink stain out, and poor old Aaron just went into overdrive with his talking. This is the way he handles the stress of a major blunder. His impulsiveness has gotten him into hot water and Mom is not happy………..and he knew the keyboard was in jeopardy. My roller coaster car was crashing down the steep incline as I tried to hang on and not lose control or lose my temper. He did what he does best……………talking in the fastest speed that he could muster.
Well, soon it was over. Aaron was happy on his computer, pecking away on his keyboard. I stared down at my blotched box, hoping that the ink stain would be gone when it all dried. I thought of the marks that Aaron leaves on my life. Some are welcome works of art, and others are carelessly splattered dabs of ink that are reminders of frustrations and anger. Yet all can be used to create a masterpiece painting if I let God have them. I need to wipe away the marks that bring defeat or that can cause hurt to Aaron……….difficult as that can be at times. Ignore the clicking teeth and slurping noises even as I remind him to stop, and sit back to enjoy his conversation and listen to his unique expressions of the world he sees.
The roller coaster of life with Aaron can take my breath away, but I pray that it’s more often because of laughter and delight instead of anger and reprimand. And I’ll wipe away the ugly marks, and strive to leave none of those on Aaron’s life, as well.
Let God’s artistry shine! And hang on for the ride!