The time change certainly caught up with Aaron today. He was sound asleep when I finally went in his room to wake him up this morning. Pillow marks were all over one side of his face, and he was struggling to open his eyes. I think a lot of people could relate to Aaron on this Monday morning of Daylight Savings Time. I was surprised that he wasn’t irritated with me for telling him that it was time to get up and get ready for his day. But when I returned to his room a couple times, and found him still sleeping, his mood began to change…….and not for the better. He informed me in no uncertain terms that he was tired, that he did not want to get out of bed, and that he most definitely did NOT want to hurry!
I went into de-escalation mode before he fully escalated. That means that I didn’t harp on him to rush, rush, rush…….but I did tell him that I had poured his coffee and I asked him if some cinnamon toast sounded good. Sometimes these incentives work far, far better than to nag or to display anger. I could hear even in Aaron’s voice that such was the case today. He was relieved and all too happy to say yes to the coffee and the toast. But he still refused to come anywhere near the concept of “hurry.” I left him at the table while I took Jackson, who doesn’t need to eat the cinnamon toast that I knew Aaron would feed him, up to my room with me while I finished getting ready. It wasn’t long before Aaron had eaten his breakfast and came to my room to talk to me………and to ask if we could stop at Dillon’s on our way to meet his group.
Now I knew that the reason Aaron wanted to stop at Dillon’s would involve food, and more specifically, I imagined it involved candy. He has been without candy for days, and now that we know he is not Diabetic, I was fully expecting this request to come at any time. I told him that I wasn’t sure if we had time to stop at Dillon’s, especially since he didn’t want to hurry……..when suddenly the idea of hurrying became very appealing to Aaron. It wasn’t long at all before Aaron was almost ready to leave. He finished putting his shoes on in my room as he confirmed once again that we were going to Dillon’s, and I confirmed to him that we were not going to go overboard on buying candy. Of course he agreed, and soon we were in the van.
Aaron shivered on this cold yet sunny morning as he buckled his seat belt. He commented on how cold it was and I agreed. He continued, “Mom, when will it quit being cold?” I told him that it would be warm later in the week. “When?” he asked. And I repeated that later in the week it would warm up.
“Mom, quit saying week!” he declared. “What DAY is it going to get warm?!”
How could I be so silly? Of course, literal and specific Aaron wanted to know the exact day that it would get warm. None of this nebulous “week” business would fully answer his question. I picked a day and told him and he was satisfied. How could I forget his simple rules for living? Pick a day and be done with it!
Soon Aaron was in candy heaven at Dillon’s. He and I scanned the shelves for his favorite Starburst Jelly Beans, but they were not to be found. Then I remembered that they were probably on the Easter aisle. Aaron was disappointed at this point, and was skeptical that his jelly beans would be on the Easter aisle instead of the regular candy aisle where they always are………but there they were! Stacks of Starburst Jelly Beans were right there amongst all the other Easter candy. He agreed that one bag was plenty, and soon we both left Dillon’s, happy with our find and with each other.
As we drove to meet Cody, Aaron commented that the rash under his arms was better. I had looked at it earlier and was also very glad to see that it was healing. The blisters have dried up and disappeared, leaving dead skin in their place. This has not gone unnoticed by Aaron, of course. “Mom! My skin is coming off! I was creeped!!”
I assured him that this was natural and normal anytime that a blister was healing. He was happy to hear this news, but continued, “When I looked at my skin, it creeped me off!!”
Well, don’t be creeped off, Aaron. You’re healing and you’re going to be just fine.
But he moved quickly on from being creeped off to being quite excited as he informed me of his progress. “Mom! I can lift my underarm now!!”
Wow, Aaron! You can lift your underarm now? That’s……….amazing!
We were now at the Paradigm van and Aaron, as always, rolled down his window while Cody rolled his down. And as always, Aaron didn’t say hello or how are you or anything else personal. It was, “Hey, Cody! My skin under my arm is coming off!”
Yes, yes, Aaron………the whole world wants to hear that the skin under your arm is coming off. Cody laughed because he gets Aaron, and I laughed because I get Aaron………and I’m happy that Cody gets Aaron and so does the other staff at Paradigm. Aaron held on tightly to his bag of candy as he got out of the van, and I wondered if he would share it or keep it all for himself.
Despite the juggling act of keeping Aaron level and happy, I’m thankful for this morning that we got to share together. Simple, yet complex, this mind of our autistic Aaron. As colorful as the jelly beans that he clutched so tightly.
Aaron does color our world with his unique personality and expressions. Life might be quieter and simpler without Aaron………..but it would also be dull and bland.
I love all the colors of Aaron! And I’m so happy that he can now lift his underarm!