Andrew, our youngest, has been home for a visit. He just left awhile ago for Missouri. It doesn’t matter how many times I say goodbye to him or to Andrea – I still get emotional. It’s just my mother’s heart, isn’t it? No matter how old they are, they will always be my children. I wouldn’t want them to sit here at home with me for the rest of their lives, but those goodbyes just don’t get any easier.
With Aaron, it will be far different. Gary and I will someday need to make decisions about a group home for him. Aaron will probably resist that idea strongly, so much preparation will need to go into preparing him – and us – for that day. Believe me, there are days when we are more than ready to push him out the door! And then there are many, many times when we can’t imagine life without him here.
The unique way that Aaron expresses himself is one thing that I would really miss. I can’t tell you how many tablet notes I have, or sticky notes, or random pieces of paper on which I have quickly written something unique that he has said. Here are just a few that I’m looking at as I write this.
The other night Aaron wanted me to help him straighten out his covers before he got into bed. I was tired and in a rush, and a little aggravated, so I quickly pulled up and smoothed the covers before turning to head out his door. But Aaron wasn’t through. “Mom!” he said. “Here! We need to do this part.”
I sighed and told him that his covers were fine…….although I did notice that the top cover was a little crooked. And of course, so did Aaron. “But Mom, the blanket is kinda tipped a little!” And once again, despite my tiredness, he made me laugh. A tipped blanket! That will not do!
We were talking the other morning about a storm from the night before. “Mom! I saw the lightning when I was in bed. I thought it was far or halfway up close!”
I know. I’m still trying to figure it out, too.
Yesterday I think he smelled the lotion that I was wearing, because out of the blue he said, “Mom, we were in the mall the other day. You know that store, BAD Bath and Beyond? It stinks in there!”
So I asked him what store that was.
“BAD, Bath and Beyond! It stinks in there!”
And he thought I was laughing because he said it was stinky.
He bought Gary a Father’s Day card, picking it out all by himself. It’s perfect because it talks about calling Dad…………and Aaron calls us every single chance he gets. People have asked us if we ever plan to get him a cell phone. Not as long as we are in our right mind.
I told Aaron to sign Dad’s card, so he bent over the card and slowly signed it………like this:
Not only full of emotion, but he took me literally when I said to “sign” the card……..and look at the spelling. I love it!
This morning Aaron wasn’t very happy at the thought of going to his day group. He was starting to get very agitated as he stood in my bathroom with me, telling me all the reasons why staying home would be so much better. He went down the usual path about why I have to make him hurry, and why can’t I just leave him alone. I explained that I had let him stay in his room for as long as I could. I said, “Aaron, I’ve left you alone all this time.”
And he answered, “Well, can’t you do it for more?!”
My laughter when he’s already mad only makes him worse, so I waited until he left the room………and I laughed as I quickly wrote down what he said.
He pulled himself together and was contentedly petting Jackson’s tummy when I went downstairs. Aaron was glad that I didn’t leave him alone as I stopped to get him an early lunch on our way to meet his group……..and listened to him talk and talk and talk about how he thinks Jackson’s nearly hairless tummy is creepy.
Most of the time I’m glad that I don’t leave Aaron alone, too……….although there are many of those other times that leaving him alone is the best and healthiest option for both of us. I’m looking ahead, though, to the time that he’ll get his wish about being left alone as Gary and I will “do it for more.”
Be careful what you wish for, Aaron. Sometimes those alone times aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
It’s a lesson for all of us, really.