Aaron came into the kitchen early this morning, before Gary left for work, and the very first words out of his mouth…..the. very. first. ……..were, “Mom, so you’re saying that War of the Worlds was an old movie? It was an old movie that had been made before?” It was as if he was continuing a conversation that we had left three minutes ago, instead of nine hours ago, when he was going to bed. I had to chuckle, which was better than crying. You see, all weekend Gary and I endured endless discussions about War of the Worlds…..and Terminator. Take your pick. We were completely saturated with both movies, to the point that several times during the weekend we had to tell Aaron, “Enough!” No more talking of these movies for the foreseeable future…..which wasn’t nearly long enough, in Aaron’s book……and so we would soon find ourselves once again immersed in movie discussions.
Thankfully, Aaron moved right on to his next topic of interest. “Mom, I woke up at 5:00!!” Of course, I asked him why as he stood there staring at me waiting for me to ask him why….and he continued. “The covers on the right side of my bed were not normal. They were not like the covers on the left side.” He again stared at me as he waited for yet another response, so I gave him another response by asking him why the covers were not normal and he gladly answered. “The covers on the right side were ALL the way out!! The covers on the left weren’t all the way out.” So this is what I heard on the monitor at 5:00 this morning. Aaron cannot tolerate abnormal covers on his bed, so he was up and about re-adjusting the covers so that the right matched the left. And I laughed at Aaron’s description of his early morning effort to normalize his bed, and he was quite proud that he had made mom laugh, though he didn’t understand…..or care to understand….why.
Soon Gary was down, putting on his coat to leave for work, and Aaron immediately launched into his War of the Worlds observation. Gary was still saturated by two and half days of movie talk, so he answered Aaron’s question that he had just asked with a little humor……which Aaron did not appreciate. Aaron knew we were tired of movie talk, and he interpreted Gary’s humor as being insulting…..and so Aaron in turn insulted Gary……and we in turn fussed at Aaron…..and our day was off and running in typical fashion. Laughing one second…..frowning and fussing the next.
These ups and downs are true for all parents. It seems more exaggerated with Aaron, at least to us, because of his age and his persistence. He is not easily deterred from the paths of conversation that he sets out on, or the paths of behaviors. We so wish we could detour him from some of the things he says and the actions he takes. I wish this every time I read another incident report from Paradigm, where Aaron has taken the path of anger and rudeness. He gets in so much trouble when he is trying to “tease” someone, or when something or someone sets him off.
But then he can be so hilarious sometimes, and so endearing. This weekend, he was very exhausting with all his movie talk…..following us around the house as he talked, or finding us downstairs watching football. But then he would come out with something that made us laugh. Like the football games, which he observes in his unique Aaron way:
“So who are you guys voting for?”
“Does the team you’re voting for have the most points?”
“Does that football player have a pacifier in his mouth!!?” (It was the
mouth guard. HaHaHa!!!)
“I bet the man who taught the Carolina Panthers is not very happy that they only
His humorous comments were like a breath of fresh air…..a wonderful break from War of the Worlds or Terminator. When Aaron and I played Skip-Bo last night, I had to once again forbid any further movie talk. We listened to Disney music on Pandora, and Aaron had fun trying to guess what movie the songs were from. He would cock his head to the side in deep thought, and I knew he was re-living those old movies. I enjoyed his reactions, and I relished another movie reprieve. We had two games of peace, and then the second it was all over, he launched into more movie talk. NO!!!!
We went to McDonalds for lunch yesterday, and again urged him to think of other things to talk about. He was mostly quiet as he ate all of his burger first, and then tackled his French fries. He will only eat one food item at a time. He methodically ate every French fry, one at a time, by dipping them slowly in his very, very full ketchup cup and then taking a bite……dipping slowly again and taking a bite…..over and over. At least it kept him busy and not talking about movies. And then he spied a little girl looking at him and he stared back. I was nervous. Would he stick out his tongue or be nice? We never know. But he smiled at her and then said, “I was smiling towards the little kid.” I was relieved at his sweetness, wishing it could always be the case with Aaron.
Last night as we watched the Broncos losing the football game, we heard Aaron’s loud thumping down the stairs. Gary and I both commented about it, how soon it was that Aaron had just been downstairs to talk more about movies and here he was coming down again. It’s wearying, really. Aaron bounded in the room and stood between our chairs, looking down at me as I sat there looking up at him…..waiting with dread for his latest movie verbal digest once again. But this time, Aaron wanted to hand me his nearly empty bag of Skittles…..the bag that he had been eating out of all weekend. In the bottom of the bag were several remaining Skittles.
“Here!” Aaron said as he held the bad toward me. “You can have the rest of these, Mom.” I thanked him but told him that I really didn’t want them right now, and that he should eat the last Skittles.
“No!” he insisted. “I want you to have them.” And with that, he put his hand in the bag and dug out the few remaining candies. He put his hand toward me and I held my hand out, receiving his gift. I really don’t enjoy eating something that Aaron has fingered as much as he had those Skittles…..because I just don’t know where Aaron’s hands and fingers have been, honestly. But God has blessed me with a strong immune system, so I took the Skittles, hiding from Aaron my hesitation.
I laid them on the table beside me, and Aaron picked up a couple of the orange ones because they look green to his color blind eyes…..and he wanted to show Gary the new green apple ones……but he realized they were orange, so he put them back in my little pile. More handling, I thought. But while he stood there watching me, I picked them up and ate them. This made Aaron happy. He wanted to share with me his special candy, and he knows that Gary doesn’t eat candy, so I was the recipient of every single Skittles…..germs and all.
And today I’m alive to tell about it. I don’t even have a sniffle or an upset stomach. But I have the memory of Aaron’s sweet sharing. He shares with us in so many ways, in many different colors and flavors, his life and his take on it. Like I said earlier, we can be laughing one minute, and then frowning and fussing the next. There are so many ways we wish that we could change our big, loud, rough Aaron. But then there are many ways that we wouldn’t change a thing about our kind, sharing, funny Aaron.
Yet he comes as a package, as all children do, and we know that we have to love all of him. We DO love all of him. We cherish the positive and we work on the negative. We ask God for wisdom, and we ask others for forgiveness or understanding when they are affected by Aaron’s behaviors. We share life with Aaron, usually Aaron’s way.
Laughter, fussing, frowning…..germs and all. It’s worth every part….every color.