It’s been awhile since I just shared with you a typical time with Aaron when he returns home from his day group. Typical, but rarely routine. So let me tell you a little about Aaron this evening. He barreled in the door from the garage just as I was starting to fix supper, and he wasted no time in telling me about his day.
“Mom! Today we went to the mall!” He had already called me from Paradigm and told me this, but to Aaron anything that he says is worth repeating……..many times.
“Guess what I saw while I was eating?”
Pause for effect, and for me to ask what he saw.
“Santa!” he replied. “And there were children sitting on his lap. They were taking pictures.”
And Aaron, who notices everything, continued. “They were shaking a rattle to make them laugh. Is that what you would say? Was it a rattle?”
I’m not sure how Aaron thought I would know that since I was nowhere near the Santa in the mall today, but I didn’t try to explain that. I just told him that it was probably a rattle and Aaron was satisfied.
I continued with my food prep, and Aaron continued with this fascinating Santa. “And those kids weren’t babies or teenagers or children. What were they?”
That pretty well left adults or toddlers, so I chose toddlers and Aaron thought that was the right answer. Now he was done with Santa and he moved on to food.
I never got a clear picture from him about exactly what he ate and how much it cost and whether he gave any of his money away. He was busily talking about his observations of the Chinese restaurant in the food court. Everything from the person handing out little samples on the end of a toothpick to the people working there was worthy of his discussion………over and over. One day he came home from the mall with this proclamation: “Mom, Chinese people love fish food!” And he has never wanted to eat there, although the egg rolls sometimes entice him.
Today was no different as he verbally explored the Chinese restaurant. “I don’t want to eat Chinese food,” he declared. “I’m not Korean or Japanese or Chinese!” No amount of persuasion about not needing to be Korean or Japanese or Chinese could change his mind, either.
He wasn’t through. “Mom! In that Chinese restaurant area there were Chinese people cooking the food.”
Yes, Aaron, you’re right.
He went on, making an important connection. “So I know who was in that pizza area cooking pizza. MEXICANS!”
He just kept talking right over my laughter, and only later did he ask if pizza is Mexican, and I reminded him about the Italian connection, and then he remembered and decided that the workers were probably American.
He was leaving the kitchen when he heard a version of Jingle Bells playing on my CD. “Mom! I’ve heard that song the way they put it!”
And isn’t it much more fun to put it that way than to say that he’s heard that version of Jingle Bells? Of course it is!
Later, just as Wheel of Fortune was coming on, I was fixing Aaron a grilled cheese sandwich……….no, two sandwiches because he has decided he loves grilled cheese again after eating a sample sandwich in Sam’s with me on Tuesday. He wanted the first one I fixed him after his Sam’s sample to be cut into the little strips like the Sam’s lady did, so tonight was no different. This made Aaron very happy, and he put his arm around my shoulders as he said, “I love this day.”
Wow! That was unusual. But an even bigger surprise was on the way. Aaron went out of the room for a minute and when he walked back in he blurted out, “I love you!”
Now he tells me he loves me at bedtime sometimes, but a spontaneous comment like this is rare. I looked up at him quickly and his eyes were wide, like he was surprised himself at his outburst of affection. And to top it off, he came over to me and gave me a big hug. A big, genuine hug!!
“I love you, too, Aaron,” I said as I patted him on the back. And just as quickly as the moment happened, it was over. But not forgotten, by me! Just like Aaron remembers every detail of his day, I’ll remember that “I love you” and that hug for a long time.
He didn’t even need to shake a rattle to make me smile tonight.