Last night there was a whole lotta drama going on at our house. A whole lotta anger…..sighing…..tears……arguing…….slamming doors……..unplugging the baby monitor…….strong words from both parties. In other words, Aaron was facing the reality of entering back into the real world of going to his day group versus the fun of staying home. It’s the reality of meeting a schedule and being responsible instead of lounging around all day as he drifted between his room and his computer to the rest of the house and all the family that was present. I had dreaded last night and for good reason.
I had made some preparatory remarks to Aaron over the past two days in order to get him ready for this upcoming reality. However, nothing really sank in until it was time to get off the computer, brush his teeth, and get ready for bed. Oh my, he was most unhappy. I tried to stay calm, made harder by the fact that I wasn’t feeling well at all. My body was telling me that I was getting sick even as Aaron was telling me that he had no intention of going to Paradigm the next day. I don’t know which was worse, but I was in no mood to be messed with on this night in which I had hoped to go to bed a little early.
It’s very hard on any day to lay my own feelings aside as I try to deal with Aaron’s unreasonable attitude at times, but especially hard when I’m not feeling well. Somehow we both managed to make it to bed without too much damage done, although I did make some statement about everything he got for Christmas disappearing at some point. Did I really say that? Yes, I did. Aaron was somber as I heard him getting ready for bed. He met Gary at the head of the stairs, in tears, and Gary gently talked to him. I lay in bed listening, so thankful for that kindness that Aaron needed right then.
I woke up during the night with my throat hurting, so I took the time……….several times………to pray for Aaron. I asked the Lord to give Aaron calmness in the morning, and good rest before then. And I asked the same for myself. Especially the calmness part. Did I really tell Aaron that all his Christmas gifts would disappear, I thought as I tried to sleep?
I was nervous when I heard Aaron come down the stairs this morning. His eyes were so tired and I feared a repeat of the night before. Yet when I spoke to him, he answered with calmness……….that calmness for which I had prayed. I gained confidence then, and told him that I would pour his coffee and carry it upstairs while he showered………and he agreed. Then I ventured forward with my plan.
“Aaron, I’ll get ready early and let’s go to Burger King for breakfast on our way to meet your group,” I said with a measure of fear that I kept hidden. My fear was that he would yell, “NO!” like he had done last night. But this morning he was compliant and he agreed to breakfast, even though it involved meeting his group afterwards.
Aaron did very well all morning. He was especially happy that I took the time to watch the movie trailer for the next alien movie that he plans to watch. He stuffed some of his stocking treats in one of his pockets before we left the house and I did not object. He talked about aliens all the way to Burger King. He finally ordered his breakfast, and as we sat on the tall chairs that Aaron likes, he continued to talk about aliens.
Finally, he remembered something else that he wanted to tell me. I have no idea why. It had to do with clipping my coupons and finding one that he didn’t know if I would use.
“Mom, I was cutting out a coupon for the make-up that makes your hair shiny. Dad said you wouldn’t use it, and I said maybe you should.”
And as we sat on our tall Burger King chairs, sipping coffee for Aaron and orange juice for me, I laughed and laughed at Aaron’s comment. He had no idea why I laughed or why I told him that he is so funny, and that I love to listen to him talk. He looked so pensive as he sat there, resigned to his fate of ending his vacation and going back to his day group, that my heart went out to him. And then he zinged me with one of his out-of-the-blue, hilarious comments, and I just had to laugh out loud.
He was back to aliens as we drove the short distance from Burger King to meet his ride. He sighed heavily as he saw the familiar Paradigm van drive up beside us, and as he opened his door. He sure can look the most pitiful in these trying circumstances. But I know that he must get back to his life and to his routine, no matter how hard it is for him. And for me.
I will not hide his Christmas gifts. I will hopefully hear a good report from him of his day back with his friends and his staff. I will try to be here for him tonight, even as we hopefully get to watch Wheel of Fortune again and I listen to him yell and clap. It’s part of life with Aaron and part of my responsibility to this special son that God has given us………even when I don’t feel up to it.
And I did stop to thank God this morning for hearing my prayer, as He always does, and for letting Aaron be calm and happy this morning. I must not forget to thank Him for all that He does and for the grace that He gives this sometimes cranky, tired mama.
Now what’s up with my hair? I wonder if I can find that coupon that Aaron said I needed.