Shake and Toss

I remember when Aaron was just a little guy and we were stationed in Germany.  Boxes of gifts from family would arrive before Christmas, full of presents for all of us.  It was so exciting to place the bright packages under our little tree and see the happiness on the kid’s faces as they especially noticed each gift that had their name attached.  On Christmas morning, we would open our gifts and watch with the delight that all parents experience as our children could hardly contain their excitement.  It was a time of pure joy!

But Aaron quickly learned something about his gifts.  Some of his presents contained clothing.  Others contained toys.  Toys tend to rattle.  Clothes don’t rattle.  So smart little Aaron would pick up a gift and give it a shake.  If all was quiet inside the box, he would then toss it over his shoulder and move on to the next one.  It really was hilarious.  We caught him in the act on the video that we were making.  Shake and toss.  Shake and open.  Shake and toss.  And Aunt Sandra, after seeing the video that we mailed to her, declared that she would never send another gift of clothes to Aaron ever again! 

We laughed and laughed over that.  “But wait,” I said.  “Clothes are wonderful!  Maybe not to Aaron, but to us they’re great!!”  Gary and I knew the value of  clothing for our children when we lived under a tight budget.  Aaron could care less, but he just didn’t understand their importance. 

Life’s gifts come in all shapes and sizes.  Some we know right away are amazing and will be treasured forever.  Others are uncertain.  And then there are those gifts that we want to shake and toss away.  Gifts of hardship and pain……gifts that aren’t fun…..that definitely weren’t on our want list. 

I recently received a wonderful gift from some old friends of ours.  We came to know Bruce and Glenda at our first military duty station in Fort Carson, Colorado.  Then we were also stationed near each other in Germany.  Our kids played together when they were very young.  Bruce and Glenda live in Alabama now, and are flying me there to spend a few days.  I haven’t seen Glenda in years, though we’ve stayed in touch.  It’s a gift that I didn’t need to shake!  I knew right away what a precious gift it was.  I leave today, in fact, and am so looking forward to this getaway with a dear friend. 

Another gift of mine, in his own amazing way, is our Aaron.  Of course, he’s our son and I love him with all my heart.  His special ways of living life due to his seizures and autism, however, make him a very unique gift.  Trust me, there are plenty of days that I wonder about this large gift of Aaron.  There are many times that I want to shake and toss.  I want to shake and toss Aaron!!  But those moments are always balanced by the spurts of joy and laughter that he brings into our lives.  He’s the whole package, that’s for sure!

For instance, last Friday we were listening to a CD on our way to his day group.  He likes it when a song totally ends before he gets out of the van at Paradigm.  As we pulled up to the curb on Friday, the song seemed never ending.  I had errands to run and then an appointment at 1:00, so I finally told Aaron that I really had to go.  I told him that he could finish the song the next time we played this CD.  Aaron didn’t like that idea at all, but he finally agreed.  However, to register his disapproval, he gave me a resounding hit on my arm before he left the van.  It hurt!  And it made me very angry.  Yet off he strode as if nothing at all was wrong.

I drove away in frustration.  See what I mean?  Aaron can go from happy to hurtful in a flash.  It was a time I really would have shaken and tossed that gift.  Yet I know better.  I know that God gave us Aaron and that he is indeed a beautiful gift, not to be shaken and tossed, but to be opened and enjoyed.  It sure takes a lot of patience sometimes, though!  More than I often have on my own, for sure. 

Yet that evening, Aaron bounded in the house with a little wrapped butterscotch candy in his hand.  His driver, Paulette, had given Aaron a wrapped candy and then gave him one for me.  Aaron was so excited to give me this little candy, and wanted me to eat it right away.  It was close to supper and I told him I would wait.  Aaron made sure, for the rest of the evening, that I didn’t forget his gift to me.  He talked and talked about that candy. 

“It’s one of those sucking things,” he described.  And he ran up to my desk that night to retrieve the piece of candy and bring it to me, hovering nearby until I finally ate it. 

Aaron can go from hitting to hugging in no time.  From grouchy to giving.  His gifts are all over the place, but each one I must receive and enjoy.  Well, not always enjoy but at least try to understand and appreciate.

He stood in front of me one evening like this.


“Take a picture and send it to Andrea!” he said.  So I did just that as we both laughed at his silliness. 

He just came downstairs this morning.  One of the first things out of his mouth?  “Mom? What do you think of Megatron and Optimus Prime versing each other?”

And we’re off and running, as always.

I’m still unwrapping all the layers of this Aaron gift that we’ve been given.  And remembering the verse that I read this morning.

“For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.  To Him be glory forever.  Amen!”  (Romans 11:36)

No shaking and tossing allowed.


The Answered Prayer

When Gary and I travel without Aaron, we must find a caregiver for him.  Plus we have Jackson, our 185 pound Great Dane.  We’ve had some wonderful caregivers over the years for both of them, but of course Aaron is our main concern.  Those that have cared for Aaron usually move on to their very busy college lives, their full time jobs after college, or to marriage with families of their own, so keeping caregivers is no easy task. 

A couple weeks ago, Gary mentioned that he sure wished it was easier for us to just pick up and go visit our other two children.  Andrea lives in Houston and Andrew lives near Indianapolis.  I realized that I hadn’t been making our caregiver issue a matter of prayer lately, so on that evening that Gary made his comment, I began praying about it again.  There are times that we can, and do, take Aaron on our trips.  But there are other occasions when it’s best for just Gary and me to go. 

The day after Gary made his comment, and I started praying, I shared my prayer concern with a friend in Texas.  I also shared it with Andrea on the phone that evening as she and I talked.  While Andrea and I were on the phone, I heard my text message notice buzzing in my ear.  I waited until Andrea and I were off the phone before checking my message.  I pretty well stared down at it in disbelief and praise.  You see, it was from our friend, Holly.  Holly watched Aaron some last spring.  She’s an excellent caregiver, but I thought that she was too busy with college and work to be able to watch Aaron anymore.  I hadn’t contacted her at all, or even said anything to her mother who is a good friend of mine.  So what did her text say?

She said that she just wanted me to know that if Gary and I ever wanted to get away, and if we needed someone to watch Aaron, that she would be glad to do that.  Wow!  I just stood there and thanked God for that very quick answer to my prayer.  It was such a direct, almost immediate answer to my prayer that it left me humbled and amazed.  Gary and I both recognized God’s hand.  So now what were we to do?

Andrew works for an NHRA race team.  They were having a race in less than two weeks in Dallas.  Last year we went to Houston to see Andrea, and then she went with us up to Dallas for the last day of racing.  Was God wanting us to do that again?  Would it even work out?  We checked with Andrea and she was excited at the prospect of us coming.  Andrew was as well, so we lined everything up with Holly and off we went to Texas.  God had answered and provided, and we felt confident that this trip was for a purpose.

That’s when things started happening.  Maybe I should make a list.

·         Holly lost her phone on the morning that we left and had to get a replacement.

·         Andrea hasn’t quite recovered from double pneumonia that she had in July.  She started feeling bad again just before we came, so she ended up not going to Dallas with us on Sunday.

·         On Friday night, Holly got a stomach virus.  She threw up seven times that night!  And she was trying to take care of Aaron.

·         On Saturday, Holly let her grandparents watch Aaron so that she could rest and recover.  Dennis and Freda are friends who know Aaron, and they did a great job. 

·         Holly did recover, but on Sunday Aaron had a seizure.  Holly knows seizures well because of her little brother who has seizures, but we felt terrible that she was having to go through this.

·         Gary and I went on to Dallas on Sunday, talking to Holly regularly and checking on Aaron.

·         Andrew’s driver, Cruz Pedregon, lost during the first run…..3.96 to 3.94.  That meant that the team would be cleaning and packing up to leave for Indy early Monday morning…..which meant that we wouldn’t really get to spend any time with Andrew.  So we decided to just head back to Wichita, feeling the need to check on Aaron anyway.

·         We ran into a huge traffic jam south of Ardmore, Oklahoma.  It put us an hour behind. 

·         My phone mysteriously died for a few hours.

·         And I even found a lone fire ant bite on my foot….a souvenir from Houston!  HA!

OK, now I know that none of these events are life changing, horrible things.  Why am I even writing about this?

I’m writing about it because the craziness of our weekend…..the stress that these happenings created for us….didn’t seem to match our amazing answer to prayer.  That answered prayer….the prayer for a caregiver….was the reason that we took this trip.  So if God provided answered prayer and the means for us to take this trip, why did so many things seem to fall apart?  Shouldn’t we have gone to Texas and just had the best time ever, with no worries?

I admit that I was scratching my head a few times, wondering why God seemed to push us out the door.  “Go, go!” he seemed to be saying.  And then to have so many things go wrong…..things that caused us some worry and kept our minds occupied on those worries to some degree. 

I have felt like God was trying to show me another element of trust.  I know I need to trust Him when He opens doors, but then allows some bad things to happen that make me question whether the open door was one through which I should have walked.  I needed to trust that God knew what He was doing when He led me to that open door.  God also knew what He was doing when He let so many things go haywire when we needed them to go smoothly.  Or we thought we needed them to go smoothly.

Answered prayer in the way that we want it doesn’t guarantee a trouble free life.  I may never know why God wanted Gary and me to take this trip.  I may never see all the connected dots that God sees….for me, for Gary, for Andrea, for Andrew, for Holly, for Aaron.

There were wonderful memories made.  Time with Andrea:


Time with our little granddogs:


Time with Andrew, though brief:


We had precious talks and laughter with Andrea.  We got to see the pit crew at the race form a circle and pray together right there in the pit area….and have Andrew tell us that he and Jay got that practice started.

And we had to laugh at Aaron as he tried to adjust to Holly being sick.  “Mom!” he exclaimed.  “I didn’t expect you to have someone here who is SICK!!” 

Let’s talk about the word “compassion,” dear Aaron.  He did go to Holly’s room three times on Saturday to say goodnight, and on the third time, instead of calling her crazy, he gave her a hug.  Very sweet!

Will I pray specifically again?  Absolutely!  God loves our specific prayers.  Next time though, when He answers, I might just say, “OK, God, are you 100% sure of this?!”  J 


Getting Aaron

I ran into Great Clips this morning, taking Aaron for another haircut, shave, and beard trim, and who greeted us but Erin!  Erin has worked there for quite awhile.  Erin loves Aaron, if you follow me.  She’s a mom, and just a very sweet person who genuinely loves seeing our Aaron.  So it’s always nice when Erin cuts Aaron’s hair! 

Erin is one of these people who just gets Aaron.  She was genuinely happy to see Aaron as we walked through the door.  She talks to him while she cuts his hair, asking him questions and interacting so well with him.  I just love having people like that in Aaron’s life.

I can tell very quickly if someone gets Aaron or not.  You don’t have to totally understand Aaron to get him.  Is this making sense?  There are just some people who from the first moment they encounter Aaron, are relaxed and accepting of him.  And there are others who look at Aaron like he has an alien head or something…..although Aaron would think that having an alien head is pretty cool. 

For instance, Friday evening Aaron and I went to Little Caesar’s for pizza.  The line at the take-out window was long, so I decided that Aaron and I would go inside to grab our pizzas.  As I parked, I gave Aaron the usual directions…..wait for me, don’t barge in the door, if there’s a line then don’t push ahead, please don’t clap, and please talk SOFTLY!!  Of course, I was trailing behind him as I finished my instructions and he was barging in the door.  Oh well.

Thankfully, there was no line, so Aaron had free rein to walk up to the counter, lean way over and loudly say, “Can I have some breadsticks??!!”  I was tugging Aaron back while reminding him to talk softly and also reminding him that I already told him he could have breadsticks…..when I turned and saw the cashier’s face.  She was staring a hole through Aaron while she wore totally no expression on her face.  There was no emotion at all from her.  She looked at Aaron like he was perhaps an alien, but a very boring alien.  Like she was thinking, “Who are you and why are you in my store?”   

Aaron was very excited and happy, totally oblivious to this girl’s cold stare.  He continued to interrupt as he loudly asked if we could get TWO pizzas as well as breadsticks.  Her eyes went from me back to Aaron, with her impersonal cold stare once again.  At times like that, I’m very thankful that Aaron doesn’t get social cues.  This girl didn’t get Aaron, but Aaron didn’t get that she didn’t get him, so in that respect all was well. 

But all was not well in my spirit.  I wanted to give her nose a little pinch and then deliver a lecture, but of course I didn’t.  And I know that maybe she was having a bad day.  Yet really, deep down, I just know that some people get Aaron and some people don’t.

Tuesday for lunch, Aaron and I met his case manager at Applebee’s for his yearly PCSP meeting.  Barb, from Paradigm, was there as well.  Aaron is as comfortable with Barb as he is with me, so she understood Aaron’s whacks on her arm, his too tight squeeze of her hand, and how he helped himself to some of the chicken on her salad.  It was our server, though, whom I especially noticed.  She made eye contact with Aaron, smiled at him, listened to him, and was genuinely relaxed with him.  I even looked at Barb and whispered, “She gets Aaron.”  And Barb knew just what I meant. 

When someone understands Aaron, it’s as obvious as the nose on their face….like that little girl’s nose that I wanted to pinch.  J  But it’s very obvious to me when a person understands Aaron, and even accepts him just as he is.  Sometimes being in public with Aaron is embarrassing, honestly.  He’s large, and loud, and totally blind to the effect he has on others by being “out there” with some of his behaviors.  He might point at someone because of their hair or whatever.  He might turn around in the restaurant booth to see what the people behind him are eating or saying.  He might stop to stare at their plates as we walk out of the restaurant.  And if he goes to the bathroom by himself during our meal, it’s very interesting to watch people’s faces as he walks by, his head high and arms swinging, often making funny noises with his mouth.

So when someone gets Aaron, I find myself relaxing some.  It’s as if I don’t feel the need to explain, which I usually don’t do anyway.  I shouldn’t have to explain Aaron.  He is who he is, in all his boldness and uniqueness.  But I’m human and I feel my face getting red when Aaron does something a little crazy that draws attention to us.  It’s nice to see others understand him even if they don’t really understand… accept him…..and especially to enjoy him. 

Having Aaron in my life has taught me to try hard to show understanding to other families I see who are probably uncomfortable in public.  I remember when Gary and I ate dinner at a local restaurant with some friends.  Our table was near a mom and dad who were eating dinner with their special needs son.  I noticed their son immediately.  He was stimming in his unique way, and I just knew what they were feeling.  I could see it on their faces, especially the dad.  So I finally made eye contact with the mother, and I smiled at her.  I pointed to myself and shook my head yes.  She was a little confused, so I just stood up and walked over to their table.  I spoke to her and her husband, and told them who I was…..and that I had a son much like their wonderful son.  They both visibly softened and relaxed.  They were so happy that I understood and that I spoke to their adult son, and that I got it.  That’s what meant the most to them….the fact that I got their son. 

So when you’re out and about, and you see an Aaron…..or most likely, when you HEAR an Aaron…..just smile at the parents with genuine love.  Even when their Aaron might pull one of the lower boxes of cereal out of the huge cereal box display….and mom stands there with fallen cereal boxes all over the aisle….smile and maybe even offer to help pick them up.  Yes, that happened to me.  And the help of a sweet teenaged boy was such a blessing that day!

There are special people all around us who need us to get them.  There are families of special ones who will feel a huge weight lifted off their hearts if you are that person in their lives. 

I get it!  You can, too.

Lessons From the Back Yard Walk

Sunday was a beautiful fall day here in Kansas.  We’ve enjoyed many gorgeous days recently.  Now the leaves are beginning to turn, the grass is browning in certain spots, and there’s just that autumn feel in the air despite the warm temperatures during the day. 

On Sunday afternoon, Aaron wanted to take a walk.  I thought about going to a nearby park, but I just didn’t feel like driving there.  I had things I needed to do at home, like wash Jackson’s bedding after bathing him outside…..and football, I’ll admit.  I was feeling a little guilty about not taking our walk in a park as Aaron and I set out to take a stroll around our back yard, Jackson trotting happily around us.  He loves taking walks, no matter where it is.  And our back yard is good for him with soft grass to pad his paws and to protect his aging joints.

Our back yard is large, so we have plenty of space to walk.  We can take our time….it’s rather secluded…..and we can sit on our picnic bench under the old oak tree as we relax near the end of our meandering.  Yet still I felt a little guilty for not getting out somewhere else.  It just seems more exciting to go to Swanson Park or Sedgwick County Park.  Staying at home feels a little dull…..a little common…..unfulfilling, in a way. 

Yet as Aaron and I walked, with Jackson sniffing all around and eating some of his favorite grass, I soon noticed some very pretty little lilac flowers growing near the area where our neighborhood lake backs into our property during the wet season.  It’s all dry now.  The frogs and turtles are not to be seen.  But these little lilac flowers were plentiful and pretty, grabbing my attention.  I stopped to admire them, pointing them out to Aaron. 


Then I saw these beautiful scarlet plants growing nearby, as we rounded the bend in the yard. 


And on the tree line were these berries, colored a soft blue, growing on our evergreens.


There were leaves turning a bright shade of yellow.


And red berries growing in abundance, reminding me of Christmas soon to come.


We worked our way up to the vegetable garden, which is normally gasping its last at this time of year.  And even though we were surrounded by brown ugliness, the remains of dead squash, and plentiful weeds, there were still signs of life and beauty when we took the time to pause and really look.

There was an okra bloom.


An eggplant still flowering.


Some tomatoes nestled away, ready for picking.


And the cutest little ladybug!


Aaron and I sat on the picnic bench for awhile, with Jackson still exploring and smelling everything of interest.  I loved the breeze, the smell of the air, and the time with Aaron.  As I sat there, I thought about how much beauty is in our old normal back yard.  We’re so used to it here that sometimes I don’t take the time to stop and really look around.  Time to really see what lovely blessings I have in our own plain back yard.  It’s really not necessary to think I must always go somewhere else for a fulfilling, beautiful walk when I can walk out my back door and see our own beauty right here.

Sometimes the mundane becomes just that……mundane.  I fail to look around and fully appreciate all the beauty that God has placed in my life.  I especially have those feelings during stressful times, or during times when I compare my life with others who seem to have it “better.”  We live in a world where we are bombarded with how the new and the different is what we need. 

Yet all around us, in our own lives, we can see wonderful things if we but pause and really look….if we look with open eyes and grateful hearts.  We don’t always need to have something bigger and better to be happy.  True contentment comes in being aware that we are just where God has placed us, for just this time in our lives, for the purpose of praising Him and showing others Who He is.  Pointing out God’s goodness and His grace as we walk in the mundane.

And the mundane will become a gorgeous display of God’s finest color in our lives!  For you see, nothing is mundane with God.  Even our lives, sometimes dreary and full of burdens, are a picture of the grace and beauty of God.  When we grasp that fact, then it’s easier to pause and see more of what’s in our own back yard.  There are simple, sweet pictures all around us of beauty and blessing if we but take the time to look… ponder… appreciate the usual as being the exception. 

I am truly a blessed and privileged person, every single day and in every single setting.  Home, hospital, doctor’s office…..alone or with others…..healthy or sick…..hungry or full……motivated or depressed. 

David said it perfectly in Psalm 34.  “O taste and see that the Lord is good!”  And again, “…they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing.”

Even in our own back yard!


Name Your War

We recently renovated Aaron’s bedroom.  It’s fun to have newly painted walls and ceiling, new closet doors painted a little darker than the walls, new valence and bedspread, new ceiling fan, the furniture moved to new positions, and new organization to Aaron’s clutter.  I bought some really pretty bins that are a tough woven fabric with a bright fabric lined interior.  They are a deep gray color and blend in nicely with his light gray walls.  One of them fit perfectly in Aaron’s night stand opening.  Not only that, but his Handy Answer books fit in that bin perfectly, and even left room for Aaron’s bedtime log book on top.  Perfect!  I was delighted!

But Aaron…..not so much.  He has adjusted to everything in his new room, but there is one area in which he will not budge.  You see, I want Aaron’s floor beside his bed to look like this:


Yet Aaron insists on keeping his books that he is reading, as well as his bedtime log book, like this:


I want things one way.  However, do or die, Aaron insists on keeping his books in their line beside his bed.  On the floor.  Not in the nice, orderly bin that I purchased for the purpose of keeping his room and floor neat…….but on the floor.  I’ve quit fighting it.  We could have the Books on the Floor War for the rest of our natural lives and nothing would change Aaron’s mind.  Of this I am certain.

The Books on the Floor War isn’t the only battle we fight.  There is also the Is the Plant Real War.  I turned around for a split second at his last doctor appointment while in the waiting room, so at the elevator Aaron held up a leaf…..a leaf that he had just pulled off the plant in the doctor’s waiting room. 


“Mom!” he excitedly said.  “That plant is REAL!”

No kidding, Aaron.  And he heard once again the lecture that goes along with the Is the Plant Real War, but I knew my brilliant wartime lecture was falling on deaf ears. 

We also have the Grey Spot on the Sock War.  I don’t know why Aaron insists on wearing the heel of his sock up on the top of his ankle.  I have instructed, demonstrated, assisted, and again lectured…..but to no avail.  More often than not, the grey heel is terribly misplaced, but Aaron doesn’t terribly care.  Actually, he doesn’t care at all.  And he doesn’t understand why I do care. 

Then there’s the Take Things Off the Kitchen Counter And Come Show it To Mom War.  Does he think I don’t know what’s laying on the kitchen counter?  Saturday he came downstairs where I was watching football.  He stood right in front of me, holding up a stick of butter that he had just nabbed off the counter as he walked through the kitchen.


“Mom!” he said.  “This says salted butter?  Then it must be sweet!” 

I laughed, and Aaron thought he had won this battle of the Take Things Off the Kitchen Counter and Come Show it To Mom War.  So he launched right into the If It’s In My Hand I’ll Let Jackson Sniff It War, and another mom lecture ensued. 

Finding humor in the way Aaron thinks and acts is one way that I get by from day to day.  He truly makes me laugh a lot, yet there are many times that I really do want certain areas of his life to be more orderly in ways that matter.  I wish that Aaron’s reactions could be as disciplined as a picked up floor, for instance, but there are occasions that his emotions become messy and even painful. 

Such was the case yesterday.  The set-up actually began the day before that, on Wednesday.  Aaron woke up for some reason at 5:09, he said.  Of course he would be so precise.  He went to the bathroom but said he couldn’t go back to sleep, so he went all day with no nap and by that evening was very tired.  Then the next morning, yesterday, he was sleeping soundly when I finally had to get him up to get ready for his day.

Waking Aaron up is usually not a good way for him to start his day.  He was pretty grouchy before we left for his group, but he buckled down and went.  However, on up in the day he had a meltdown with Barb.  He was very belligerent with her and vocal.  He also broke his watch….again.  When he came home later, the first thing he did was to ask me if I had heard what had happened.  I hadn’t, but I could tell from his stressed look and his tired eyes that it wasn’t going to be a pretty story. 

Aaron also shared it with Gary later as they walked around the yard.  I just watched them and thought of poor Gary, handling issues at work all day and then coming home to hear another war story of Aaron’s.  Yet it’s what we do as parents….what all parents do….although at our age we did think we’d be done with all this “stuff” that needs our wisdom and patience. 

We want Aaron’s life to be neat, with everything in its place, like books in a bin.  Aaron had been very happy for a couple weeks, maybe longer, and we were really enjoying the reprieve.  But autism and autistic behaviors don’t just disappear into a neat bin beside his bed.  I had seen the warning signs and I was right.  Aaron hit the proverbial wall and pieces were now scattered all over.

Gary and I helped him pick up those pieces as best we could.  So did Barb as she texted me and told me to tell Aaron that she loved him and would be happy to see him tomorrow.  “He has had many good days,” she texted, “and tomorrow is a new one.”

She was right.  I had to remind Aaron of that fact as he came downstairs this morning with a stormy look on his face, saying he didn’t want to go to Paradigm because of what happened yesterday.  We had to work through it this morning, with me being careful not to escalate this angry time into a War of Words.  He came out swinging, too, as he realized that I was checking the time of the West Virginia/Oklahoma State football game for tomorrow.

“I vote for Oklahoma!!” he declared…..hoping that he had wounded me.  He had no idea of how funny that was to me. 

He did go to Paradigm this morning, rather happily, despite these proclamations during his What Words Will Work on Mom War:

“I’m only going because you want me to!”

“I’m only going because you’re making me!”

“I’m only going because I want pizza!”


And when we got to Paradigm, Aaron wanted me to come in and talk to Barb, which I did.  Aaron was a little huffy at first.  He wouldn’t hug Barb, but shook her hand very properly…..and I smiled.  Hopefully he’s been all right today.  Hopefully the war for him is over.  Hopefully his scattered pieces are back in the bin, neat and orderly, although he’ll always leave a few on the floor where he wants them. 

And we leave them there, because some battles in some wars just aren’t worth fighting.  It’s part of what makes Aaron unique, challenging, and full of his own way of living in his world.

It’s part of what makes us stay on our knees, trusting God for what we need to fight whatever war may come our way today. 



Aaron’s Notes

I saw this on Gary’s desk the other day.


This note was written by Aaron, and it made me smile.  He was obviously in a happy mood that day, particularly toward Gary, and so he expressed it as he often does with a little note.  Aaron’s not being disrespectful in calling his dad by his first name.  I mean, Gary is Gary’s name, right?  Aaron knows that we try to get him to call others by their first names instead of saying, “Hey, you!”  Or just saying, “Hey!”…..and then pointing, as he did often during our recent trip to see family.  So on this day of note making, Dad was Gary….and we smile at that.

Aaron keeps copious lists of many areas of his life.  He writes down the chapter that he just finished when he stops watching a movie.  He writes down his computer game notes and stopping points.  He keeps this list of his going to bed and getting up in the morning times:


And this list of our Skip-Bo wins:


Aaron also loves his Post-It notes.  He leaves various messages in various places, like the one that he left on Gary’s desk.  Some of his messages are not so nice, though.  Like this one a couple years ago that he left on his door during a very grouchy morning.  I got that message loud and clear……and I’ll admit that I thought it was pretty funny, although I didn’t share that sentiment with Aaron.


He sometimes leaves me reminder notes.


He has left sweet notes, and sometimes not so sweet notes, to the various staff at his day group.  Here is one that Barb sent me, a note that Aaron wrote on her desk calendar.


But by far my favorite note is this one that he left on my desk quite awhile ago, and that I still keep there.


I like looking at it on bad days, especially.  It always makes me smile.

I love you, too, Aaron……sweat and all.