I bought some eggplant the other day. I knew that this would create quite a stir in our house, and that’s because Aaron loves the unusual. To most of us, eggplant is mundane………..maybe a little odd in appearance, but certainly nothing that should cause excitement. But most of us are not Aaron. To him, eggplant is odd; and anything that is odd gives him pause and then becomes a matter of great curiosity…….and much conversation.
He saw the eggplant sitting on the kitchen counter that evening. Soon I heard, “Mom! There’s an eggplant!” It was as if he had seen one of his movie aliens sitting on our kitchen counter, legs dangling and eyes flashing. Such was the level of Aaron’s excitement. Later I went in the family room, where Aaron was nestled in his favorite chair with all of his necessary items around him and his new blanket covering him nursing home style. There, perched in his lap, lay the eggplant. Aaron held it up happily for me to see as if it was my first eggplant experience, and his as well. I laughed and snapped a picture, and Aaron was very pleased to have this close encounter with an eggplant.
Yesterday morning I was once again reminded of how the usual becomes the unusual to Aaron. Way, way out in a field behind our house there is a tall tower of some sort. On top of this thin steel tower there is a flashing red light. For years Aaron has talked about this flashing light, dim in the distance. It’s certainly not a bright intrusion into our home in the dark of night, but Aaron notices it constantly none-the-less. Of course, when Aaron notices anything he will then talk it to death…….which he has done concerning this tower over the years. What kind of tower? Who built the tower? What is the tower made of? Why does it have a flashing red light on top? Who takes care of the tower? Will the tower fall? Will the tower get struck by lightning?
Aaron has blinds on his bedroom windows, but he has never wanted to use them at night. In fact, they were never even lowered at all…………until this past winter, when we had new siding put on our house and a new paint job. When the workers were going to be right outside Aaron’s window early in the morning, we decided to lower and close his blinds the night before. This gave him privacy the next morning. I wasn’t sure how he would react to this change, but he didn’t mind it at all……..and I was surprised.
Now the worker’s job has been completed and there is no need to close Aaron’s blinds at night. However, he still wants them closed. That’s no problem, of course, but is still somewhat unusual for Aaron. Yesterday morning, Aaron brought this subject up once again, telling me that he had decided to keep his blinds closed because that flashing red light bothered him. I expressed surprise at this announcement, and reminded him that for years he hadn’t been bothered by the far off red light.
He quickly replied, “Well, I decided it’s bothering me now.”
I’ve thought about these two scenarios since yesterday……….the eggplant and the flashing red light. Aaron has chosen for one to be a blessing and for one to be a bother. It’s clearly a conscious choice that he is making, even though with Aaron his autism does play a part.
How about me? What am I choosing today, and every day? Sometimes I allow situations or people or things to be a bother when they really don’t have to be that in my life at all. Sometimes my own son is a bother! It’s natural to get tired of the constant talking, or his quirky ways that impact every single day of my life, or his mood swings………and many other areas of Aaron. The choice is mine, though. I can decide that it’s bothering me……….or I can decide…….
…………..that these things are BLESSING me! Just like the goofy eggplant……..a blessing instead of a bother. I don’t always make the wise choice, but I know that I do HAVE a choice. So despite the irritations……the flashing red light out in the distance………..I know that I need to choose instead to hold each situation just like Aaron held up the eggplant. Hold it up with a smile and with at least some measure of joy……..and be able to see how unique and special each part of my life is.
There’s Aaron again………teaching me lessons and he doesn’t even know it! I would say that he’s a blessing!