I was sitting at the kitchen table on this beautiful Mother’s Day morning when I heard Aaron yank his bedroom door open upstairs. Down the stairs he lumbered, and then across the family room he walked with his usual heavy steps. He didn’t say a word to me as I so obviously sat there, but instead loudly said, “Dad! I’m ready!” As Aaron walked by the table where I sat, he glanced over at me with his darting eyes. He was nervous and had no time for small talk with Mom as he hurried by me, glancing quickly at me again and then looking away once more.
Aaron hurried downstairs, and then soon he and Gary were both upstairs again, hurrying off to the nearby guest room. This time Aaron didn’t even look my way, but instead just followed Dad as he kept his focus on Gary’s back. I heard a little rustling and then back came Aaron, carrying a gorgeous flower arrangement. He walked over to my chair while I exclaimed my surprise and my delight.
“Oh Aaron, they’re beautiful!” I said. “Thank you so much!”
“Uh-huh,” Aaron flatly replied to my thank you.
By this time, Aaron was off again, walking once more toward Gary who stood in the little hallway. He took two cards from Gary’s hands and once again came over to where I was as he handed them to me. He was turning to head off again from all this embarrassing pleasure of Mom’s, but I reached out and pulled him toward me.
“Wait, Aaron,” I said. “Let me open the card from you.”
He gave a little half-hearted chuckle, not really wanting to stand there any longer, but he did stay as I opened his card. I knew that Gary had helped him pick it out. One of the captions had been whited out by Gary and replaced with a more appropriate word. The card was perfect and I laughed as I told Aaron that I loved it, and I thanked him again.
“Uh-huh,” he repeated. And this time I let him walk away after I grabbed a quick, uncomfortable hug………more me hugging Aaron than him responding much.
This is how Aaron celebrates special days. Quickly, with as little fanfare as possible, and hopefully no gushing emotion. Yet he clearly wants to recognize special days…..just on his own terms. Short, not necessarily sweet, and then we’re done.
He was ready to cut out coupons that he knew were there waiting on him. His routine needed to be restored. And please don’t ask me to talk a lot about this Mother’s Day business, he was thinking, or to say you’re welcome and DEFINITELY not “I love you!”
OK, we’re done, right? Can I just cut out my coupons and talk about the movie I’m watching or the one I want to watch? But no! Dad came in the family room and sat on the couch, and had to mention something else that we were going to do on this special day that’s getting a tad stressful.
But going out to eat IS pretty fun, and so Aaron agreed to go with us. Honestly, Gary and I had been unsure about taking Aaron with us, but I was very glad that Gary invited Aaron along…….and even happier that Aaron agreed to go. We later made our way to the restaurant, where there were a lot of people there celebrating Mother’s Day just like us…….well, like Gary and me. Not Aaron so much. But a meal out is worth celebrating, so Aaron didn’t even complain about the crowd.
The host told us that the wait would probably be 20 minutes, so as we stepped to a quieter area to wait, Aaron asked what time it would be when we were called. Gary gave the time that was about 20 minutes away, and immediately Aaron checked his watch. Here we go, I thought. If we don’t get called by just that time we might have a problem, Houston.
I told him it didn’t mean that we would be called at exactly that time. Aaron said he knew that…..as he checked his watch. We talked about this and that……he checked his watch. We discussed an issue he’s been concerned about……he checked his watch. We talked about the service dog that walked past…..he checked his watch. I reminded him of the time issue not being exact and he said he understood……as he checked his watch. I was getting a little nervous……and he checked his watch again. WHY DID WE EVER BUY HIM A WATCH??!!
Finally, before the 20 minutes were up, we were called and a crisis was averted. A frustrated Aaron is not a pleasant Aaron to have around a huge, happy crowd of Mother’s Day celebrators. Thank you, Lord, for small blessings that to us are huge. As we sat at our table, the server came over and we all agreed on coffee to drink. Then immediately Aaron asked, “Do you know where the bathrooms are?”
Our server laughed and said, “Of course I know where the bathrooms are.” I realized that she didn’t quite understand Aaron, but I knew she soon would. So Gary took Aaron to find the bathroom per the server’s instructions and soon returned, with Aaron not far behind. We placed our orders, and then Gary and I watched as Aaron took his napkin and began wiping up all the stray coffee and water splashes on the table.
Soon the table was satisfactory to him, and he proceeded to scarf down his first of several cups of coffee. Plus his omelet, his hash browns, his biscuit, his water, and more coffee…..in that order. He only eats one food at a time until it’s gone, and then moves on to the next item, not even wanting his biscuit buttered until he was ready to eat it. There is a method to all things, you know. People are silly if they don’t understand this.
Before long, we were on Kellogg driving toward home. His biggest concern at this point was whether to cut out the page of Burger King coupons that were in the paper or to just leave them together on the sheet. Are we on coupons again, I thought?
We passed by one of Aaron’s favorite places, where at least for a time he was distracted from coupons. Resthaven Cemetery. Not that Aaron is obsessed with death, but you have to admit that a cemetery is rather unusual and you know how he loves the unusual.
“You know what they do at that ceremony place?” he asked. I didn’t even correct him about ceremony versus cemetery. I wanted to hear his insights his way.
“What do they do?” we asked.
“They do cremations and burials and one other thing, but I don’t remember the other thing!” he exclaimed.
“Cremations are when you burn yourself!!” he then informed us.
So Gary stepped in at that point and corrected that mispereption as gently as he could, and off we drove to the house, well past the ceremony place and all those things they do there.
I talked Aaron into letting Dad take a couple pictures, barely. He was so ready to be done with all this Mother’s Day hoopla, and hugging, and thank you’s, and mushy stuff. Finally he was free to finish a couple lingering coupons and then bounce between his room and the rest of the house, comfortable once again in his world done his way.
I enjoyed calls from Andrew and Andrea, with Aaron trying to interrupt, as usual. I’m thankful for my three children, thankful to be their mother and to have their love as they have mine. I’m very thankful for a husband who makes it all possible, and who loves and leads us all still after all these years.
And I’m thankful for celebrating another Mother’s Day…..Aaron’s Way!
I’ll grab another hug before bed, just watch me!