I have written often in the past about Aaron and his special friend, Rosa. Aaron called her Rosie for the longest time, and that’s what I still find myself calling her now. They have a very sweet friendship. Aaron has struggled with whether they are boyfriend/girlfriend, but both we and Rosa’s parents encourage friendship and nothing more. In other words, we don’t push them toward a relationship that might open doors that we don’t want to open at this point……and probably never. Aaron and Rosa are very happy with things the way they are. Their happiness warms our hearts.
Rosa has had a change in her day and residential services, so now she and Aaron don’t see each other at all. At first, they both seemed to be handling this change far better than we had feared they would. Over the weeks, though, they have shown signs of missing each other a lot.
“It scares me that Rosa and I aren’t friends anymore,” Aaron told me one day. I assured him that they were indeed still friends, but to Aaron it was hard to figure that out since he didn’t see her anymore. I felt so badly for him as I tried to explain things once again.
“Rosa left me,” he said on another day. He said the words flatly one day, without any drama, which only seemed to increase their depth. I knew he was missing her a lot.
“I miss Rosa,” he mentioned on another day. “It seems I can’t be with anyone to tease anymore and to talk like we used to do.” So I mentioned some of his other friends, but he only said, “They don’t tease like Rosa.” And some of it isn’t that Rosa would tease Aaron so much, but that Rosa understood Aaron’s teasing. And where sometimes Aaron’s teasing goes too far, and might involve a hearty whack on the back or the rear, he never to our knowledge went that far with Rosa. He even admitted to us that he wouldn’t treat Rosa like he did others.
Another issue also presented itself shortly after Rosa’s absence. Another female client decided that it was time to take advantage of this opportunity and to see if she could talk Aaron into being her boyfriend. This didn’t go over well with Aaron at all. He was a combination of angry and confused as he tried to ignore her repeated offers of a relationship now that Rosa was gone.
“______’s eyes looked like she loved me,” agitated Aaron told us one day. Now how perceptive is that?!
“Stephanie and Shauna don’t say they love me,” he said on another day. “That’s good to me, Mom.” He knew that those two friends were just that…..good friends…..and that they had no designs on Aaron’s affections other than friendship.
Well, over time I think we’ve worked out the situation with his friend who wants to be more than a friend. The staff at Paradigm stepped in to intervene, and I haven’t heard any more from Aaron concerning her proposals or her loving eyes.
Louise, Rosa’s mother, called one night this past week and told me how much Rosa is missing Aaron. We decided to meet for another movie day this past Saturday, with pizza to follow at our house. When I told Aaron, his eyes lit up. I asked him if he wanted to go to a movie with Rosa and then have pizza, and he answered with a resounding, “YEAH!!” He agreed to see the new Cinderella movie, and decided not to go watch it with Paradigm on Friday since he would see it with Rosa on Saturday.
I told Aaron exactly what time on Saturday we would be leaving when he asked me that question on Friday night. And then I repeated it several times on Saturday morning. The EXACT time was, as always, of utmost importance to Aaron. He was watching his Egyptian movie, Sands of Oblivion, when I told him it was time to leave for the theater.
We walked into the theater lobby and saw Louise sitting with Rosa on a bench. Aaron marched right over and said, “Lou-ees!” That’s how he pronounces her name….with a French or Italian spin to it…..and it’s quite hilarious. “Lou-ees!” he said. “Do you know Im-La-Rah from Sands of Oblivion?!”
I laughed, and Aaron waited for Lou-ees’s answer while Rosa sat there juggling her colored pencils that she was holding. Louise answered his question by telling him that she didn’t know Im-La-Rah…..and she answered like this was perfectly natural. She reacted like only someone who understands Aaron and others like Aaron would react.
And you know what? Aaron and Rosa didn’t say ONE word to each other. Aaron didn’t say hello to her as we hurried into the theater, and she didn’t say hello to Aaron. They don’t do that. And they’re happy as can be with it. They were together and that’s all that mattered to them. They don’t and won’t show their happiness or exhibit their feelings like you and I would do. Aaron sat on the edge of his seat, talking nonstop, and Rosa was also talking…..but they weren’t talking to each other. Rosa was busy with her colored pencils, and Lou-ees was drawing pictures for Rosa the way she enjoys, and Aaron was talking a mile a minute about anything and everything while Rosa interjected her comments to me or Louise.
I moved over to sit next to Aaron during the movie, for damage control. It was a good thing I did. Cinderella wasn’t his favorite movie. As he told me later that night, “Cinderella is a girl show.” But he wanted to see the movie that Rosa wanted to see, and when he told me that, I was just filled with warm fuzzies. But because it wasn’t his favorite movie, he was pretty restless, so that’s where the damage control came in. Aaron, don’t stretch with your arms in the air…..don’t kick the seats in front of you…..don’t yawn so dramatically…..quit saying loudly, “I know this story!”…….and please don’t say “Sexy!” when they kiss!!
I won’t even dwell on our foray into Little Caesar’s to get pizza. Let’s just say that Aaron was large and in charge, bursting in the door of the very small, crowded lobby and telling the clerk, “I want two pepperoni!!” the moment that we entered. It was a whirlwind and we left our mark, that’s for sure, on employees and other customers alike. Louise and I just laughed as we exited.
Back at our house, we ate pizza on our patio and talked lots more. Rosa asked Louise to tell us this and that, and Aaron was his usual verbal self….in a good way, thankfully. After we ate, he brought out his bag of Skittles to share. And he gave Rosa a brand new container of Pringles, his favorite flavor…..not a flavor he didn’t like, such as he gave to Andrea one day. Plus he gave Rosa a piece of his very favorite Swiss Cheese for her to take home and eat later. We took a little walk around the yard, Aaron still talking and Rosa still holding her colored pencils.
We waved goodbye as Rosa and Lou-ees drove away, with talk of getting together again still fresh in Aaron’s mind. I don’t know that he and Rosa said goodbye, either, any more than they said hello. I was focused on Aaron being quiet long enough for someone else to say a word or two. The rest of the evening, Aaron followed me around as I worked on laundry and other chores. He was happy and he was full of talk, of course. He told Gary all about the day, too, several times. Trust me.
Before she died, Cinderella’s mother told Cinderella to be kind and to have courage. Kindness is something we don’t always see in Aaron, although he exhibits it more than ever as he’s aged. But toward Rosa, we do see Aaron showing that kindness. And she shows him the same. It’s so sweet and wonderful to see them that way together. Relaxed and happy, even though they don’t always demonstrate their closeness to each other in the way that you and I would do.
Lou-ees and I will hopefully do this again soon. I guess we’re the ones with the courage…..and I laugh as I say that. We’re also the ones with joy in our hearts as we give our special adult children a special day together. Having them is a responsibility that won’t go away at a certain age like it has with our other adult children.
But with that responsibility comes blessing…..some days hard to find……but on other days, like Saturday, all around us for the enjoyment.