Getting Back in the Groove

I have definitely been out of my groove lately……and when mama is out of her groove, Aaron responds.  Both of us being out of our groove makes for some interesting times around here.  Both of us have been physically down at one point or another since before Christmas.  I was sick before Christmas, the week after Christmas, and again this week with my first ever sinus infection – for which I got an antibiotic that I hope will completely remove whatever bug is in my body for GOOD!  Aaron has struggled with some seizures; a bad sore throat that I shared with him because I’m nice that way; and an upset stomach that caused him to completely lose every bite of his favorite lasagna immediately after he got up from the supper table last night. 

Can we be done now?  I certainly hope so.  Yet I don’t want to complain.  We enjoy very good health most of the time.  And Gary has remained healthy through all this, which has been a blessing. 

Aaron isn’t used to seeing me sick.  I mean, he’s seen me not feeling well but to see me in bed in the middle of the day is unusual for him.  To see me cuddled under a blanket on the couch when it’s dinner time is highly unusual.  And of course, if something affects Aaron in a negative way then he will react.  And his reactions are not of the kind and caring variety, hardly ever.  He would have a very difficult time portraying care for me, although he has done that on occasion with a hug or by sharing a band-aid. 

On Monday, however, when I felt my worst and had been to the doctor, Aaron was at a loss.  This was the day that I was on the couch while Gary fixed Aaron something to eat.  When Aaron walked through the family room, I saw his eyes dart quickly over to my huddled form……..and then look away again just as quickly.  He had that familiar scared look on his face that I’ve seen so often…….the look that tells me he is uncertain and uncomfortable.  He cannot bring himself to express feelings like you and I can, but he must show something………and so he shows a measure of fear.  And also anger. 

I understand this about Aaron but it still puzzles me sometimes.  That evening as he walked several times through the family room, he made some comments or asked some questions.  I don’t even remember what they were, but I remember that he was mad.  I watched Wheel of Fortune with him, which I thought might help, but he was still showing frustration toward me.  Actually, though, the frustration was really aimed at the situation.  Mom being sick and out of commission made Aaron feel insecure.  His insecurity is shown by frustration, which is often exhibited with anger.  That night was no exception.  It didn’t get out of hand but his anger was evident in his tone of voice and his impatience.  I knew to just let it ride and to give him space, not asking lots of questions or trying to engage in much conversation.

Of course, the next morning he hoped that my sickness would mean that I couldn’t drive him to meet his day group, and therefore he would have an unexpected day to stay home.  When I told him that I was feeling better and that I could indeed drive him, he was suddenly wanting Mom to be sick again.  So funny how that works!  Again, Aaron is all about Aaron most of the time.  That night I knew that some one-on-one time with Aaron would mean a lot to him, so we played Skip-Bo……..and he was very happy!  It did us both good to spend that time together, despite his attempts at cheating.  He is quite adept at picking up extra cards or digging under the pile for a card instead of getting the one on top or any number of other cheating techniques.  I don’t dare turn my back on him during a game!

Two days later, though, Aaron for some reason had a very sad spell at his day group.  He cried there, wanting to come home so that he could “have fun”, and when he walked in the door at the end of the day he was a mess.  His eyes were swollen and blood shot, his neck red from rubbing his jacket back and forth over his skin, and he continued to cry as we talked.  When Aaron cries, then we know that he is extremely frustrated.  He kept declaring that nothing happened, that his friends were very nice when he started crying, and that he just wanted to come home.  He was somber at supper and for the rest of the evening. 

The next morning, Friday, he came downstairs fairly early.  He was still very quiet, and asked if he had to go to his group.  I said yes, which he calmly accepted – much to my surprise.  We talked about things Aaron likes to do at home and I told him that he should read more than just before bed……the only time that Aaron will read.  He said, “Like now?”  I said yes, and so he went up to his room, soon returning to the kitchen table with his Handy Answer Book and his watch, of course.  Keeping track of time is very important, you know! 

This was such an unusual moment!  For one thing, I was clipping some coupons I had hidden from him because he thinks he must clip ALL the coupons, but gets angry when he’s tired of all the cutting.  So I had hidden these and he caught me with them.  He asked about them, but he didn’t insist on doing them himself.  And the other thing was the simple fact that Aaron was reading his book in the morning!!  Not at night before bed, but in the morning……….gladly sitting across the table from me, seriously reading his book, with his watch perched near him so that he could see the time.  It was all very sweet and special to me.

I told Aaron that I would fix him his favorite lasagna for supper, and he was happy about that as we later drove to meet his group.  When he got home, he still seemed unusually quiet and remained so at supper.  He hardly said a word to Gary and I as he carefully took the top layer of cheese off of his lasagna, like he always does………because he saves eating it till last.  He was so quiet that we were a little worried, and then really worried when he didn’t want his salad, which he loves.  And he only wanted one helping of lasagna.  He laid on the love seat after supper, and within a minute he asked for a trash can…….and Gary and I ran, with Gary barely making it in time to hold the can for Aaron to use as he threw up all of his lasagna. 

Well, maybe that explained his somber mood over the past two days and his very quiet demeanor.  He dozed on the couch but didn’t throw up anymore.  The rest of the evening still found him being very unlike himself.  He was happy to go to bed and he slept well all night.

When he came downstairs this morning, his eyes were bright and he had a big smile.  “Mom!” he exclaimed, “I was upstairs watching a movie.  I have been not asleep!”  And I knew that Aaron was back.  He was talkative and happy, and proud of the fact that Mom probably thought he was up in his room sleeping late, but he had “been not asleep.”  I love the way Aaron arranges his words, and I love to hear him talk (most of the time!), and I love to see him happy and chipper.  He has been bouncy today, and full of talk, and he laughs as he tries to whack us when we walk past him.  Typical Aaron!

A while ago I put a load of clothes in the dryer and turned it on.  Right away I heard such a loud racket that I opened the dryer door to investigate.  Soon I found the cause of the noise…….a huge plastic die from a game of some sort.  And yes, Aaron had brought it home in his pocket……….his often bottomless pockets that hold his many found treasures.  And yes, he grinned broadly when I showed it to him and yes, he objected when I told him that he must take it back to Paradigm.  This is all so true to Aaron’s nature.

And I thought of how Aaron’s talking and all his noise and clatter are so typical of him………so true to his nature.  I miss it when he’s too quiet.  I don’t like it when he’s serious and somber.  I’ve gotten used to the loudness that is Aaron, and to all the clatter that tells me Aaron is fine and Aaron is being………Aaron. 

I’m thankful that he and I are both feeling better, and that we’re both getting back in our groove.  Sometimes I crave the alternative with Aaron…………quietness……….but I realize it’s not natural and I don’t like it at all.  The breaks I get from Aaron are needed and good, but when Aaron comes home, I want the real Aaron.

Loud clattering and chattering and all! 

Author: Patty hesaidwhatks

I'm Patty and I write about our adult son who has Epilepsy and Autism, who still lives with my husband and me, and who is a package full of many surprises and joys and challenges and TALK! Lots of talking, which creates laughter and some other reactions as well. I also write about how God shows Himself to me in everyday life.

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