In our Life Group the other night we were talking about the fourth chapter of James. There James tells us that we shouldn’t say we’re going to go here or do this without acknowledging God’s will for us in these things. James reminds his readers to say, “If the Lord wills, I will do this or do that.” We talked about the signature song of Frank Sinatra, I Did It My Way, as being the exact opposite of the attitude that James wants for us.
But my friends, laying aside any spiritual implications, I must say that I have found Aaron’s life song!! How many times in a day could Aaron, with his autistic way of living life, rub his hands together in glee and yell, “I DID IT MY WAY!!!”
Sometimes Aaron’s way is a funny way. Sometimes Aaron’s way is a frustrating way. Sometimes Aaron’s way is a very fascinating way. But it is nearly always HIS WAY!!
One recent evening, Aaron wanted to set the table for supper. I love having Aaron’s help. Aaron knows my first comment will be for him to wash his hands, so here’s how it always goes: “Mom, can I set the table? I already just washed my hands.”
And I’m thinking, “Yeah, like two days ago?” Aaron knows what Mom is thinking so he just turns and heads for the bathroom, returning with clean hands (I hope) and ready to set the table. On this particular evening, when he was all done and had left the kitchen, I stood staring down at his place setting.
What a perfect picture of Aaron doing things his way! He must always have multiple forks and spoons, no matter what we are eating. I was proud of the precise way that he placed his utensils and napkin on the correct side of the plate and humored by this example of how Aaron thinks deep in that amazing brain of his. Gary and I each had been given one fork and one spoon, but Aaron set his place at the table HIS way.
Gary and I see Aaron doing life Aaron’s way every single day. Let me show you some examples of Aaron’s way.
Look at how Aaron wears his watch way up on his arm. He has always…and will always…wear his watch this way.
Aaron loves this sweater and he wears it every day, even in the summer and even outside in the summer. Plus, the slipper socks!
When I drop Aaron off at his day group, I would always tell him to quit picking up sticks to carry inside to Piper, the resident day group dog. One day I took my eyes off Aaron as he got out of our car to walk into the building. When I looked up, he was limping. I was alarmed, especially because we were getting ready to take a trip out of town. Weird things happen before every trip…things like stitches and staples and ER visits and dental procedures, all involving Aaron. So, I was very worried to see him limping. I texted Barb, and soon she sent me back this picture.
Aaron decided to be sneaky in how he carried sticks into Paradigm to give to Piper! Now, every day, he stops to take off his shoe and place a stick inside…in full view of me and everyone else. 😊
Aaron listens to music CDs as we drive. He loves music, but almost always only as we drive. And if there are multiple CDs, he will listen to them in order of the date they were produced. “Mom,” he said one day, “I listen to them as the years have gone by.”
He also watches the credits after every movie, as intent on the screen as if it was the most exciting part of the movie he just watched.
Watching him clip coupons is very interesting. He cuts as precisely on the dotted line as he can, and then cuts each of those little strips into very small pieces that fill his special trash can. The coupon papers are laid out neatly when he is done, with coupons stacked just right in the coupon box and restaurant coupons kept out separately. If there are good coupons and I buy an extra paper, I hide it from Aaron because he will NOT let me clip coupons. “You don’t do it right, MOM!!” he angrily says. One day he grabbed coupons out of my hand and wadded them up into a ball because he was so angry to think of me cutting them. This is how important it is to Aaron to do these things his way.
Aaron loves to find items at his day group…even if he must open a drawer to do so…and bringing them home. How many times I’ve made him return many of those pilfered pens and sticky notes and clips and much more! One day he got in the van, reached into the bag he was carrying, and showed me the boy’s bathroom sign. “AARON!!” I exclaimed. “You took the boy’s bathroom sign?!!” But he assured me that Chris let him take it because they put up a new one, and Chris came to the car to confirm to me that this was true, and now Aaron’s bathroom at home has the prized sign on the door!
Aaron crunches mulch outside into a bucket. This is his special way of relaxing.
What’s funny is to watch him at a restaurant that serves peanuts. Here he is yesterday as we ate lunch after his doctor visit, crunching peanut shells just like he does the mulch.
I could go on and on with these examples. You see why I say that I Did It My Way is a very appropriate way to describe Aaron. But I like even better to say that Aaron is really doing his life God’s way. After all, God has fearfully and wonderfully made Aaron just the way he is.
So, yes, Aaron is doing things his way but it’s because God made Aaron HIS way!!