I haven’t done much writing lately for various reasons, a big one being that I had thumb surgery recently. This clunky splint makes typing a little difficult. My immobile, fat wrapped thumb keeps wanting to hit the space bar, so now you will understand if you see unnecessary spaces here and there that I don’t catch. The backspace key is my friend!
Gary has been taking excellent care of me, and taking up the slack in areas that I still can’t manage. Even faithful Jackson seems to have been concerned for me at first. I think now he’s just used to the new me.
But Aaron…..dear Aaron……has mostly been worried about……Aaron. Oh, he’s shown a little empathy. That’s not really the right word. He’s shown a little interest in my condition, but showing a great deal of care doesn’t come naturally to Aaron. But the times that he does express care are special indeed.
He was very happy that he got to stay home on the day of my surgery. “When you go to take your surgery,” he had asked the day before, “do I have to go to Paradigm?” Gary and I were at the surgery center very early, so neither of us could drive him to Paradigm. He loves staying home for whatever reason, so I think he was secretly happy that I had surgery because it did benefit him on that day.
He eyed my left hand suspiciously when I got home. I knew he was uncomfortable so I just tried to act normal and put him at ease. But when I laid down in bed in the middle of the morning, he was very uncertain. He understood, of course, that I had surgery. But he did not know how my surgery would affect our normal routine……and therefore affect him, greatly.
I kept the bedroom door open as I rested in bed. It wasn’t long before I heard Aaron walking up the hall from his room to my room. I just kept my eyes closed. Aaron just stood at the bedroom door, not speaking, but I could feel him staring at me. He stood there and stared for awhile before he turned and walked back to his bedroom. He was exhibiting his uncertainty.
It wasn’t very long before I heard his familiar steps once again in the hallway. He stood once more at my bedroom door for a few seconds.
“What’s for supper?” he finally asked.
I told him there was plenty of food in the frig to choose from so he could have his pick. It wasn’t really the answer he had hoped for, I knew. He thought something along the line of pizza or a sub would be far better. My hand surgery wasn’t working to his advantage as much as he had hoped!
But he was very happy that Gary brought him a cheddar pasta salad when he went to pick up my prescriptions from Dillon’s. This surgery might work out after all, Aaron thought.
And soon I heard him walking heavily up the hall again. No need to walk softly when there are matters to address that are very important. I just waited quietly while he stared at me.
“Are you watching Wheel of Fortune?” he asked.
No asking how I was feeling. No wanting to know if he could bring me something. No queries about my surgery. And no surprise from me. Aaron was uncomfortable and he wanted Mom to be Mom again, surgery or not.
I told him that I imagined I could watch Wheel of Fortune. Later that afternoon, I went down to sit on the couch. Aaron sighed when I asked him to carry my pillows. He was seeing that this surgery would take a toll on him and his routine after all.
We watched Wheel of Fortune that evening, and Aaron was happy. He didn’t seem to notice my pain pill drowsiness. He was just very happy that we could have this normal part of our day restored. He was not so happy, though, to hear that playing Skip-Bo was going to be questionable for a day or two.
Later that night, Aaron walked with purpose into the kitchen where I was standing. “Mom! Here!” he said. “I brought you something since you had surgery.”
Surprised, I looked in his outstretched hand and saw that he held two yellow gumballs. He had gotten them from his jar of gumballs in his room. Usually he tells me I can have one gumball, and on a rare occasion I can have two. This gift of TWO gumballs, then, was a true gift from his heart.
I thanked him and then put them on the counter. “No, Mom!” he said. “Hurry and eat it before it becomes tomorrow!”
So I had to smile and I had to “eat” the gumballs immediately. I didn’t exactly feel like it, but I did chew those gumballs until all the taste was gone as I relished the kindness that Aaron had shown in his own Aaron way.
Life returned to a measure of normalcy fairly quickly. A couple days after my surgery I even drove Aaron down to Great Clips for a much needed haircut. As we sat in our chairs waiting for his name to be called, I showed him how I was to exercise my fingers that were protruding from my splint. I tried to be funny as I bent my fingers, saying “Up, down, out, in!” as I bent them back and forth. I should have known that Aaron wouldn’t appreciate my humor.
“You’re weird, Mom!” he said. And then he looked toward the hairdressers and very loudly said, “My Mom is weird!! She had surgery and she’s weird!!” What do you do when all eyes turn to you and your son? Laugh! And hope they don’t agree with Aaron!
Aaron has done really well with this whole “Mom had surgery and she’s weird and I want things back to normal” business. He has actually been helping with carrying and setting the table and bringing in trash cans and other things, much more that I thought he would. He had a very grouchy week at his day group last week, though, and I don’t know if all this was part of why that happened or not. Sometimes we just don’t know with Aaron.
And we have been playing Skip-Bo again. Gary shuffles the cards for us and off we go! Aaron sometimes acts like his silly self. See the clothes pin on his ear?
But he plays with the intent to win, realizing that Mom still can watch for cheating even with a splint on her hand!
The other night he once again strode downstairs to find me on my computer. “Here, Mom!” he said. “I saved this for you.”
I looked at his bowl that he held toward me and saw it. One lone little fruit gummy for me to eat.
It’s not the size of the gift that matters, but the heart behind it. It’s true not just for Aaron, but for all of us. Sometimes I have to look hard for Aaron’s gifts, but they are there, sweet and honest.
Brutally honest sometimes (weird Mom!)………but that’s Aaron!