Yesterday Aaron called me from his day group, having a bad day and very upset. He wanted me to come and pick him up, but that’s something I don’t want to start doing unless there’s a very good reason. I talked to Barb, part of the management there who is a real buddy of Aaron’s, and she shared some of the details of his very bad, no good day. We agreed that Aaron could stay there, which he did, though there was a part of me that wanted to drive right over there and rescue him from his misery.
Much of Aaron’s problem has to do with his mouth, and with his impulsivity……..saying and doing things that he sees as funny, but which are not at all humorous to many around him. He had settled down by the time he got home yesterday, and talked and talked about what he had eaten and what he shared with Rosie and that he didn’t want to go bowling, and on and on. I broached the uncomfortable subject of his phone call to me, and of what happened to make him so unhappy. He listened and responded a little, then was off to his room and to his routine. In other words, the discussion was closed. Typical Aaron.
He talked about it some with Gary during the evening, too……….and at one point came upstairs happily carrying a pack of Big Red gum that Gary had given him. He waved it in front of my face while I was on the phone, grinning broadly and saying, “Look what Dad gave me!” You would think he had keys to a new car! Happy, happy Aaron!
This morning I drove early to the air base to drop off the last of Aaron’s lab samples in preparation for his appointment tomorrow morning. Then I stopped by his epilepsy doctor’s office to get a copy of his lab results from a month ago. All this lab business was leaving me with a rather heavy feeling……….a sense of foreboding. We all know how uncomfortable it is to wait on test results, praying and hoping that things are fine. We’re concerned about Aaron’s dramatic weight loss, hoping that it can be explained by some medicine changes, but still feeling the heaviness of worry creeping in to our minds.
Yesterday morning I tried to get Aaron to step on our scales. He wanted nothing to do with it, however. A couple months ago he was happy to see how much he weighed, but now he was tired of all this talk of weight loss. Finally he asked, “Mom, is something wrong with me?” I felt stricken, but I cheerily told him that we weren’t saying anything was wrong………..that we just needed to be sure that everything was working as it should…….as I watched him storm off and hoped I sounded believable.
I wasn’t surprised this morning, then, when Aaron told me once more that he did NOT want to go to Paradigm because of what happened yesterday. He repeated this several times as I got his coffee poured and even gave him some of his wiggly jello. I kept the conversation light as I hoped that soon his mood would change. I hoped that when he went upstairs I would soon hear the shower running, but instead I heard his movie playing in his room. When I walked in his room a little later, feeling like I was walking on eggs, I casually mentioned that it was time to get ready.
“You mean I have to go today?” he asked. “I don’t want to go to Paradigm today!”
I asked him if it was because of what happened yesterday, and he blurted out a quick yes! Then I told him how much everyone at Paradigm loves him, and how his friends like him, and how much Rosie would miss him………..and he grabbed his little hand towel that he keeps with him at all times and that really needs to be washed……..and he put it to his face, quickly wiping his eyes.
Aaron was crying. Not sobbing, but stubborn tears were there that he quickly tried to wipe away. My heart went out to him as I felt my own tears sting my eyes. Aaron had had enough…….enough of standing on scales and blood work and peeing in a cup and fecal smears and bad relationship days. So I reached out and rubbed his back…….and I told him that I understood, but that today was a new day with a new start. It was probably my touch more than my words that caused Aaron to relax. He quieted down, took a shower, got all ready, and even tolerated mom’s choice of a CD in the van………..Pachabel’s Canon in D………a stretch for Aaron, who would have preferred something a little more rowdy.
Aaron was smacking his lips and chewing with gusto as we drove along. “Are you chewing some of the Big Red gum that Dad gave you?” I asked.
“How did you know?” he answered as he chomped. I smiled…and said that I could pretty definitely hear his hearty chewing and could smell the cinnamon. He thought that was rather strange.
I also know that we love Aaron, even in the aggravating times and the times when we want to throw our hands up and the times that we raise our voices.
I know something else. I know that Aaron hurts and worries just like the rest of us do………except he can’t verbalize it like we can. But his tears told me enough. They showed me his heart.
Something else I know is that God is in charge of each day, of each test, of each uncertainty.
Tomorrow is a new day……..every day is a new day……..to know that we love and are loved, and to have a fresh new start with each other and with God.