Aaron has a kind side to him that we love to see. He’s always liked to share things that he has, including money, which we discourage. Lately I’ve been sending him to his day group with baggies of baby carrot sticks, pepper strips, gum, or something else along that line. He then will sit with his friends and share his food, hopefully satisfying his sharing urge without also giving away his money.
Aaron was so sweet over the weekend here at home. He knew that my friend, Atha, was not expected to live long. He was concerned about that, more than we usually see over those things. He asked about it several times. Then after I returned from the hospital and we watched Wheel of Fortune on Saturday, he held his hand out to me on the couch and said, “Here!” I held out my hand, not showing him my reluctance, and he dropped two very sticky jelly beans onto my palm. Therein lay my reluctance……sticky, germy, well-handled jelly beans. But I didn’t think too long…..didn’t give myself time to chicken out. I just thrust that candy in my mouth and thanked him broadly. Gulp!!
Later he sincerely wanted to give me even more jelly beans, so he got out a bowl…..of course!…..and poured a few of his prized jelly beans in the huge bowl, handing it to me proudly. Such kindness once again! And at least this time the candy wasn’t man handled first, but came straight out of the bag. Relief!
As I watched basketball soon after the jelly bean gift, Aaron came downstairs with his favorite soft blanket. He proceeded to offer it to me, and once again I didn’t refuse. I just sat still while he placed the blanket over my legs, pulling it just so and making sure that my feet were covered. Sweetness!
Last night, again while I watched basketball, he gave Gary and I each a piece of his favorite Big Red gum. He knew that Atha had gone to heaven that morning. He had seen me earlier, with tears on my face, and instead of calling me a cry baby like he usually does in his discomfort with emotion, he instead gave me a piece of gum. Empathy…….rarely seen!
This morning Aaron wasn’t too happy about going to his day group. Sometimes Mondays are that way for him, just like they are for many when it comes to ending a fun weekend. I was afraid of a real meltdown this morning when I heard Aaron’s back scratcher go sailing up the hall floor. Aaron had thrown it. Oh dear, I thought.
A little talk and a little time helped. I cleaned his glasses like usual as I listened to him complain one more time, but not as energetically as before. And once I told him that we could take Jackson with us, all doubt was gone. Happy Aaron was ready to go!
Once at Paradigm, Aaron ran inside while I got Jackson ready to be swamped by Aaron’s friends. His collar and leash in place, Jackson hopped out of the van and enjoyed all the petting and exclamations that usually happen when he’s being adored. But Aaron wasn’t totally happy until he made sure that his very special friend was able to be wheeled out in her chair. “S” was all smiles and even talked to me about big old Jackson as I made sure that Jackson was right where she could see and touch him.
Soon we were back in the van, Jackson and I, and Aaron’s group began walking the few blocks to the nearest Quik Trip. I looked as I drove away and what I saw warmed my heart, so I snuck into a parking lot and waited for the group to pass by. This first picture shows the main group.
Look who came at the end. Sorry for the poor quality of these pictures.
There was Aaron, walking with “S” and one of his favorite staff, Antoine. Aaron just loves “S” and another girl at his day group, both in wheel chairs. This act of kindness, Aaron walking slower so that he could stay with “S”, just made me very thankful and happy for the kind heart that Aaron really does have.
Kindness. I just can’t say enough about the importance of that quality in any of us, but especially in big old blustery Aaron, who at times seldom shows concern for anyone other than himself. Emotion and thinking of others is a characteristic that hasn’t usually come easily to Aaron over the years. Expressing those traits is hard for one with autism.
God was good to give me these evidences of Aaron’s heart this past weekend. He was good to allow me to see Aaron, unaware of my presence, showing such kindness to his special friend.
We never know what a day with Aaron will hold. Kindness TO Aaron certainly helps make situations smoother.
Kindness FROM Aaron…..priceless!!