Last night I felt like this:
Mangled. Broken. Greatly in need of repair.
These were Aaron’s glasses a couple weeks ago after an incident at his day group. Mixing all the various special needs can at times be volatile. Even I, who have dealt with many pairs of broken glasses, was surprised at the level of damage done to this pair. I honestly wasn’t sure that they could be fixed.
I took the rather hopeless mess that used to be glasses into our eye doctor’s office a couple days later. I hoped that maybe, just maybe, they really weren’t beyond repair. The kind technician couldn’t hide the look of surprise on her face, which didn’t fill me confidence that anything could be done for them.
Imagine my surprise, though, when before long she returned with this:
WOW!! Talk about a miracle re-do of what I thought was hopeless! She received my profuse thanks with a smile on her face and the comment that she loved a good challenge. I’m thankful that she did, indeed!
Being the mother and caregiver of an adult special needs “child” with behaviors can be exhausting…physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I believe that about covers it. And while I don’t want to come across as complaining, facts are facts and truth is truth.
If there’s one thing I’ve wanted to be on this blog, it’s truthful…truthful without being unkind to Aaron in my honesty. Talking about being truthful, Aaron is just that…at least in his mind. He has few filters, and totally does not get social norms. He is often unaware of other’s feelings. He gets stuck in his own mind about certain issues and is truly stunning in his inabililty to switch gears and judge those issues with good reasoning. His own comfort is paramount to him, most of the time, so if his comfort is interrupted or his wishes unmet, we are often met with his anger.
And I get tired. I get angry. I did last night, when Aaron who had been happy decided to be rude just before bed. He and I didn’t have our normal cheerful bedtime routine. He was still out of bed, on his computer, when I went to bed. I didn’t even challenge him. I have no idea when he went to sleep.
I spent time with the Lord this morning, reading about the compassion of Jesus and knowing that I needed that same compassion for Aaron. Somehow, it’s easier to show compassion for ones I seldom or only occasionally see. Showing that similar level of compassion for Aaron can be very hard to do over the long term, day after day.
I was very surprised this morning to hear Aaron’s floor creaking before 7:30. Most mornings I must roust him out of bed…very unhappily on both our parts, I might add. I thought this morning he would definitely be a hibernating bear, but no, he was awake and downstairs early.
He knocked politely on the bathroom door, and when I opened it with some dread, I was so relieved to see him with bright eyes and a sweet smile. He even received the hug I offered! We were off to a good start!
We sat in the living room, enjoying the warm fall decorations and soft twinkling lights. I had intended to sit there and pray, but sitting with Aaron was important, I knew. We talked softly about some of this and some of that. Then Aaron decided that he could take his pills, but I reminded him that it was too early. He wondered why, and once again I explained how he really should take them about 12 hours apart.
“So, Aaron, it’s nearly 8:00 right now,” I began.
He immediately looked at his left arm, pushed up his sweater sleeve, and gazed down at his wristwatch perched halfway up his arm. I just watched with a smile on my face, waiting for what I knew was coming.
“It’s not 8:00,” he blandly stated as he stared down at his watch.
“Well, I just meant that it’s ALMOST 8:00,” I explained.
“It’s 7:41,” he flatly continued.
Gone was the lesson on the 12-hour rule. Gone was my caring at all at that point about the 12-hour rule! In its place was my laughter, deep from inside…much needed laughter.
And Aaron tolerated my laughter, even though he had no idea why the time of 7:41 made Mom laugh. Many times, Aaron gets angry when I laugh, so I don’t…until he is out of earshot. But today Aaron let me laugh. This was a gift.
Later, we sat at the table where Aaron ate a plate full of fried eggs with the yellow hard the way he likes them and where he talked and talked and talked…about separatist droid armies and Trandoshans and commandos and clones…and anything but heart matters. Or the 12-hour rule.
But it was good. Very good.
It was our normal.
And it was a gift. A gift from the same God Who also fills our hearts…my heart…with love and compassion for our Aaron.
I know all too well that we’ll have this again:
But I also know that we’ll have this:
Thanks to God who fixes our broken!
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)