Today Aaron stayed home from his day group. No, he wasn’t sick and he didn’t have any seizures overnight. It’s actually more complex than that. It concerns an issue that is requiring us, and others involved, to have wisdom and understanding……and not only for Aaron. This matter involves Rosie as well………Rosie, Aaron’s very special friend.
I first wrote about Rosie two years ago. Here’s the link to that blog post: http://hesaidwhatks.blogspot.com/2011/10/aaron-and-rosie.html. Aaron and Rosie have continued to maintain a very special relationship…………….going to each other’s birthday dinners with parents, staying near each other at Paradigm, and usually going on the same outings with each other during their day at Paradigm. It’s been sweet to see their friendship grow……and it’s been interesting to work with Aaron as he’s tried to understand their relationship, and whether they MUST be boyfriend/girlfriend or can they just be good friends.
What has been occurring recently involves two issues. The first issue is Aaron’s desire to give or to buy Rosie things. We have allowed him to bring her a bottle of juice or some baby carrots or some other food item from the house. Sometimes we let him print her a picture on the computer of one of her favorite characters from the movie Cars or some other movie that she likes. He likes to share his movie popcorn with Rosie, or to buy her a snack when they are out.
The second issue is wrapped around the matter of crayons. Yes, crayons. Rosie loves crayons. I mean, Rosie ADORES crayons. She lives and breathes for crayons. I had no idea how strong her love of crayons was when she and Aaron first became friends. I just knew that Aaron was sneaking our old crayons out of the house in the mornings and taking them to Rosie at Paradigm. If I knew then what I know now, I would have put a stop to that. Anyway, Louise and Leroy, Rosie’s parents, have through the years developed a system to help control Rosie’s crayon obsession. She is allowed to only have a certain number of crayons at definite times. The more crayons that Rosie has, the more frustrated and obsessed she becomes with getting more crayons. It’s a vicious cycle, and Leroy and Louise have worked out the best system to help keep the crayon dilemma under control.
Lately, though, crayons have somehow become a huge issue once again. I know that Aaron bought Rosie some crayons when they were out together with their group, and that it happened more than once. We repeated to Aaron over and over that this was not allowed. Rosie began wanting more and more crayons, of course, and so things began to snowball. Rosie wanting crayons……Aaron saying no……….Rosie becoming frustrated. One day when Aaron was afraid that Rosie would get in trouble at Paradigm, he told me, “Mom, I wanted to take Rosie’s blame!” I just stood there, wondering how to answer that amazing statement from Aaron……….admiring his care for Rosie, but knowing that Rosie also needed to learn that she couldn’t have all these crayons.
Not long after that, Aaron came home one day and again was frustrated. “Mom, I’m tired of bringing my wallet now. I expected to have a fun day!” Once again I told Aaron that he had helped create all this by repeatedly buying Rosie things, especially the recent crayons, but instead of responding with understanding, he replied, “Can you understand my day was spoiled?!” And can you understand why, Aaron? Can you? Maybe a little?
Things came to a head yesterday in the mall, with Aaron buying the biggest ice cream that he could in order to spend all his money, and Rosie wanting her crayons. I don’t know all the details, but there was a meltdown from poor Rosie in the mall. And here at home later that evening, a frustrated and sad Aaron had his own form of meltdown that prompted me to go buy him some jelly beans that he wanted………hoping that he would calm down and engage in some conversation as he saw his anticipated jelly beans waiting on the table.
Jelly beans………..crayons……..but instead of two young children squabbling over these items, we have two young adults to whom jelly beans and crayons mean the world. Jelly beans and crayons hold the key to happiness for Aaron and Rosie at this point in time. I tried to get Aaron to sit still in the family room and talk to me, but he kept getting up and pacing around the room as he talked about this problem. Then he finally sat down on the ottoman near where I was sitting on the couch, and the tears came. He tried to wipe them away, but they still welled up in his tired eyes. And as he talked, I realized that Aaron was somewhat frustrated with Rosie but he was also sad that they are at this point with each other. He is upset that he is feeling this way toward his special Rosie, and he doesn’t know what to do now that things are not all rosy with Rosie.
It’s so very hard to reason with Aaron the same way that I would with Andrea or Andrew. I told Aaron that his feelings are not at all unusual, and that all friends or couples go through these times. I told him that his dad and I have times of irritation with each other, but that we work it out and then everything is fine. He would listen, but then go back to repeating the same words over again that he had just said……..and I knew I wasn’t making much headway into that head of his, at least as far as I could tell. And I know from talking to Louise that it’s the same way with Rosie. They just don’t get it……….although we keep trying and we keep hoping. But their disconnect mentally is very evident in this delicate matter of working through the junk that sometimes mires a relationship.
I wasn’t surprised this morning when Aaron came downstairs and plopped on the floor beside Jackson, and said that he didn’t want to go to Paradigm today. I was on the computer and I turned to look at my boy who is a man, but who is really still a boy………..a boy/man who is working to understand himself and to understand Rosie. I know that I can’t dismiss his repeated conversations about what has happened, even as I can’t dismiss the obvious pain of this lesson. I once again assured him that he and Rosie are still very special friends……..that Rosie’s mom is going to work with Rosie on all this……..that the staff at Paradigm will work with both Aaron and Rosie to help them along………..and that his dad and I are always here for him.
I talked to Louise today and was so thankful for her kindness and her understanding. Of course she is………she has walked this path for many years, too……….this path of mothering her special daughter who is now a young woman but still a child. Together we hope to walk beside our Aaron and Rosie, helping them solve this crayon problem that is every bit as serious as if we were helping our children solve a deep relationship problem that might threaten to dissolve a marriage. We both value the unique friendship that Rosie and Aaron share, and we wouldn’t want to see their happiness disrupted over anything………including crayons. All the while, Louise and Leroy have the crayon dilemma to address concerning Rosie……….and Gary and I have the “I want to buy Rosie something every day” dilemma with Aaron.
I told Louise today that I feel a bit like a meddling mother-in-law………and we laughed at that thought. At least Rosie and Aaron won’t see us as meddling, so I can breathe easy.