Happy, Giving Aaron!

I wanted to write a quick blog tonight in order to test my new blog site. I have switched to WordPress now for blogging since I was having so much trouble with Blogspot. Gary couldn’t fix the problems, and if he can’t fix them they can’t be fixed.  That’s a mouthful, but it’s true. Anyway, more about all that in another blog. I just want to test my new site tonight. Bear with me as I work out the kinks. Who am I kidding?! Bear with me as Gary works out the kinks and I sit beside him wringing my hands. 🙂

I have to say something about Aaron, though, right? He has been so happy lately!! I’m almost afraid to say it! He’s just thriving in his friendships at Paradigm, his day group, and is enjoying doing what he loves to do the most…..giving. Here are some things he has recently taken from home, on three different days, to give to his friends.

His whale:

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His fluffy dog:

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His other stuffed dog:

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And today, along with the above dog, he took gum and green pepper slices that he shared. If he keeps up this giving, his room will be all clean!

He was also very happy that today was Shawna’s birthday, so with Barb’s help he made her a card at Paradigm and then signed it. That made him feel so good!

Today he also wore the necklace pen that Stephanie made for him last week. He loves it!

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If you want to have your day brightened, come with me sometime when I go to pick Aaron up from Paradigm at the end of the day. Today I just sat in the van watching the “kids” – who are really young adults – get in their various vans and cars as they left for the day. Many go to group homes and so ride together. In some ways, it’s heart breaking to see the van with wheelchair accommodations lifting some of Aaron’s friends up in the van for their ride home. It could also be sad to see the various special needs of the clients as they spill out of the building and mill around in the parking lot.

But if you get beyond that, you will see big smiles…..hear laughter…..and see friendships all over the place. Finally, out the door bounded Aaron. There was Yolanda coming behind him, holding her dog leash. I soon saw that the other end of the leash was around Aaron’s wrist and he was laughing up a storm. He came to the van with Yolanda following and holding the leash, opened the door, and just burst out laughing. Yolanda was laughing, too. She’s much older than Aaron but she had youthful delight on her face. Yolanda doesn’t hear, so in her difficult-to-understand speech she told Aaron goodbye and that she would see him tomorrow. He said, “OK!” and that was it. But he was, once again, so happy. It truly warmed my heart.

I remember when Aaron first went to a special needs school here in Wichita. After a few days there, he came home and said, “Mom? I notice something about that school. All the kids there have problems. What’s my problem?”

I didn’t know what to say as I tried to swallow the lump in my throat. But then I told him that he didn’t have problems. Yes, he had Epilepsy and Autism, I told him. But he didn’t have problems. He and all his friends were wonderful in their own right.

So that’s what I told myself today as I watched these amazing young adults with their limps and their unique looks and their wheelchairs and their……specialness! There are issues and there are concerns and there are so many things to think about with each one.

But each one is special and valuable. The problems they face put me to shame, but they live daily with their challenges.

I can learn a lot from them. I can learn a lot from Aaron.

As we drove away, Aaron started talking. Of course. And I listened, wondering what new thing he was about to teach me today.

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