I’ve had a bit of an up-and-down weekend for several reasons – finding myself sometimes nostalgic as I think of Gary’s and my role as parents to our three wonderful children. It’s been the most fulfilling calling of our lives, that’s for sure. Sometimes challenging, too, as it is for every parent. Now Andrea and Andrew have moved to other states as they pursue their own callings at this point in their lives………..Andrea in grad school studying genetics, and Andrew living his dream of working for a professional NHRA drag race team.
And we have life with our special Aaron, still living at home and treating us to his unique view of life every single day………whether we totally relish his unique view or not. For at times his unique take on life may be funny……..or it may be interesting………..or eye-opening………..or tiring……….or maddening. But never dull. Never, ever dull.
This morning Aaron followed me outside where I was picking up some small branches and sticks that had blown out of our trees. Aaron was happy that Jackson was out with us, too, as we said goodbye to Gary when he left for work and I continued to look around the yard for more sticks. Soon I heard Aaron say, “Mom! There’s a butterfly!” I turned around to look and there I saw Aaron holding the butterfly in his hand. He was looking at this beautiful butterfly with awe, just as a small child would do. Therefore, I did the same………bending over Aaron’s outstretched hand as we both admired the intricate markings and brilliant colorings of this special little creature. It’s something I probably would not have been doing on this pretty morning had it not been for Aaron.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot today. Last night Gary and I talked to Andrea for a long time about her thesis research……..about the rapid sequencing machine that she is privileged to be using………about her research being presented to the DOD……….about her research being published…………about where she might apply for her PhD studies in genetics……….and so much more. Andrea’s very interesting studies have opened up a whole new world to Gary and me.
With Andrew, it’s been so much fun to experience the world of professional NHRA racing. It’s been pretty amazing to get an inside view of this life through visiting him as he worked at the race in Texas and then to talk to him about his new life……….the traveling………the drivers and their crews……the inside stories and insights……….the new things he’s experiencing and learning………watching him on television…….and for us to stand in the winner’s circle in Texas while I got to hold the winning trophy, a Wally, for real!
And just this morning, I held a butterfly, for real! I got to stand in our driveway and have Aaron show me his wonderful butterfly, and then let him gently slide the butterfly into my hand so that I could experience holding him myself. Aaron was as thrilled with this experience as Andrea is with her research and as Andrew is with his job in the NHRA. Once again, I am reminded of the importance of perspective in these matters, and of how true this perspective is in so many areas of life. My attitude, my perspective, makes a huge difference in how I view these matters.
In sharing life with Aaron, the seemingly small things become big and important. Sometimes that’s a good thing………and sometimes not so good. But just like I am excited about Andrea’s and Andrew’s accomplishments and their lives, I want to also be excited about Aaron’s……….or at least appreciative of Aaron’s life, and often downright awed……..I hope.
This wonder that is Aaron……….it’s in a butterfly in the driveway.
It’s in him putting his plastic Halloween rat on the dashboard last night as we drove to Sonic for his milkshake………and him hoping that the cashier would surely notice it!
It’s in exuberantly asking if the Buffaloes beat the Chiefs in football. The Buffaloes?
It’s in being very excited to be in Papa Murphy’s as we ordered pizza on Saturday……and instantly picking up the container of red pepper, telling me that he put red pepper on his Target pizza the day before. “It was full of hotness, Mom!!”
It’s in the joy of playing a simple game of Skip-Bo.
It’s in him sleeping with Mr. Snake that he took from Andrea’s room.
It’s in him meticulously writing down the times that he goes to bed every night and the times that he gets up every morning in his special notebook………even when he’s groggy from a seizure.
It’s in the necklace that he made for me and that he loved seeing me wear.
It’s in plopping on the floor in the middle of the vet’s office to pet Kato, the resident cat.
It’s in wearing his slipper socks AND slippers, even with shorts, and not caring one whit how he looks.
It’s in happily buying Gary a treat at the grocery store.
It’s in watching Wheel of Fortune………and yes, even with his VERY loud clapping and yelling.
It’s in his childish excitement about his upcoming birthday.
It’s in his pure delight with anything and everything that is even one iota out of the norm…………and him not knowing that he is just that…..out of the norm – unique and amazing.
It’s in his final good night hug……either because it’s so sweet……..or it’s because I’m so tired that the hug makes me that much closer to quiet sleep.
It’s that last knock on our bedroom door to check for one last time on the weather………and the outdoor temperature………..and whether it’s going to rain during the night…………..and will there be lightening……….and thunder……….and should he leave his blinds up………and he might not read before bed……..
It’s one of many reasons that we lock our bedroom door.
But not our hearts. I hope we never lock our hearts to Aaron and to all that he teaches us and opens our eyes to every single day.