Aaron notices much more than we sometimes give him credit for. I love how he will point something out to us, often something that we never paid attention to at all, and then offer his comments on it…..of course……whether we want to hear them or not. We usually DO want to hear what Aaron has to say, but trust me – there are times when we do NOT want to hear what comes out of Aaron’s mouth.
Aaron rarely gives any thought to whether we want to hear his observations or not. His insights may be new, or they may be ones that we have heard over and over and over and over…..and over……again. It doesn’t matter one whit to Aaron. He would probably implode if he didn’t talk, so talk he does……and we listen, regardless.
He shares things with perfect strangers, too. I took Aaron to Wal-Mart with me after I picked him up from Paradigm on Friday. Aaron was happy that I had found a soft fuzzy blanket on sale and that I had put it in our cart.
“Is it for ME?” he hopefully asked. But when I told him it was for our aging Great Dane, Jackson, Aaron was not at all disappointed. He loves Jackson.
Aaron sat on the bench near the register as I checked out. I loved the look on his face as I looked at him and smiled. Inside I was hoping not to hear him blessing us all with his ear splitting loud clapping…..or a silly ‘meow’……..or a fox whistle……or a very embarrassing farting noise.
But Aaron didn’t stay on the bench for very long. No. He saw the cashier ring up the soft fuzzy blanket, which reminded him that he had something important to share with her. He didn’t care one bit that he didn’t know our nice Wal-Mart associate. He did know, though, that she needed to know something.
So he got up from the bench and purposefully marched over to where she and I were finishing my transaction. He pointed to the soft fuzzy blanket.
“That’s for our dog. He’s nine years old and he has weakening in his muscles.”
She thought that was so nice to be buying our dog such a nice soft fuzzy blanket. She and I were starting to have a dog conversation when we heard Aaron again.
“LOOK!!” he blurted out. And there he stood, lifting up his right arm and showing the poor unsuspecting soul his yucky yellow and purple bruise on his arm.
“Aaron…..” I started, but he barreled right over me.
“My desk chair fell on top of me when I was reaching for apples and peanut butter, and I got a bruise!!” he explained.
She showed him his desired amount of shock and sympathy while I tried to hurry up my payment. Knowing smiles were exchanged between us as I readied to leave. Well, knowing smiles shared quickly between her and me. Aaron was already off in search of his next victim, so I had to run.
So back to what Aaron notices, and then shares all too fully with us…..or anyone else who is fortunate enough to be nearby.
On Thursday I wore this blouse.
Aaron came into the kitchen, looked at me with his head tilted to the side, and then offered his opinion.
“That shirt looks like it should be colored,” he commented.
This forced me to look with new eyes at my shirt.
“Aaron,” I asked. “Does this remind you of the adult coloring books that you and I have seen?”
“YES!!!” he replied, so excited that I had gotten what he was trying to convey. “It looks like it should be colored!”
“Do you like this shirt?” I asked. And he told me that he did like my coloring shirt, very much.
So on that day I was fun.
The next day I wore this blouse.
Aaron had come in the bedroom and seen me wearing it, before I added a sweater.
“WOW!!” he said, in awe. “You look like a princess!”
I just laughed. A princess? But there was something about this blouse that he loved, and so he saw me as someone very special as I wore it.
On Sunday, as I was getting ready for church, Aaron came in the bathroom and saw me wearing this blouse.
“Ewwww,” he said in a measure of disgust.
“What’s wrong?” I asked him.
“What you have on,” he answered.
“Don’t you like it?” I asked.
“NO!” he replied. “It’s ugly.”
There was something about it that wasn’t fun like my coloring blouse and wasn’t special like my princess blouse. This blouse, to Aaron, was ugly……ugly enough to him that he reacted instantly to it. He wasn’t trying to be mean. He was just being honest. The design; the colors that he saw since he’s color blind, perhaps; or maybe the style – whatever it was, he didn’t like it one bit.
I’ve thought about all this since our morning yesterday. Aaron was not one bit happy to be going back to Paradigm after enjoying his weekend. I’ve learned to just let him work through it, to not force the issue, but to let him make the decision. He knows the consequences of going and of not going, so it’s good to let him be the one to choose.
But yesterday, on this Monday, he was extra unhappy and extra grouchy. Downright hateful a couple times.
“I want a break!!” he angrily told me.
“You just had a break,” I told him back, but not angrily. I know better.
“When was my break?!” he wanted to know.
“Saturday and Sunday,” I answered as I fixed my hair.
“Don’t say that Saturday and Sunday were my break!!” he told me.
“OK,” I said.
So I’m fairly certain he came in the bathroom a dozen times, each time saying with more and more anger, “Don’t say that Saturday and Sunday were my break!!”
He continued on down his anger path. I didn’t react……I breathed deeply……I prayed…..and I looked forward to Aaron making up his angry mind about what he wanted to do.
He finally came in the bathroom, bent over while he rubbed his hands together, and said, “I don’t love you anymore!!!!”
Then he was spent. I was, too. He walked away, calmed down, went to Paradigm while he happily listened to music, and the storm passed.
What I wear, in a sense……what I display to Aaron when he is so angry…..makes a huge difference in the outcome. It’s much like my blouses that caused a reaction in Aaron. If I show anger when he is angry, the result is explosive and nothing is accomplished. If I show patience, then he sees that his anger isn’t accomplishing what he hoped it would. If I ignore him totally for awhile, he becomes uncomfortable and realizes that he has crossed a line.
I can choose what I wear during these episodes just as much as I chose those three different blouses on three different days. Will I be fun, or special, or ugly? Every situation with Aaron is different, too, so I need wisdom…..which is a big reason that I pray.
Oh, I get upset, too. I mutter under my breath……think not-so-kind thoughts……and if Gary’s here, he is at times my sounding board, as I am his.
But still, what I wear in front of Aaron is so important. Above all, I must wear unconditional love. It’s hard sometimes to do that, especially when he tells me he doesn’t love me anymore. Thankfully, that doesn’t happen often, but when he does go that far, I struggle.
When I picked Aaron up from Paradigm that afternoon, he acted as if nothing had happened between us at all. And last night, as we watched Wheel of Fortune, Aaron starting rubbing his hands together wildly.
“MOM??!!” he loudly said, “I LOVE YOU!!”
Which is Aaron’s way of saying that he is sorry, and that he does love me for real.
I slipped on some forgiveness right then.
“I love you, too, Aaron.”
It felt very nice, maybe like the princess blouse. And fun, like the coloring blouse.
I’m thankful the ugly was gone, at least for now.