Aaron was awake and out of bed very early Monday morning, especially considering the fact that he took a long time getting to sleep the night before. We were late to bed on Super Bowl Sunday, and not just because of the game. He and I watched a Dr. Quinn after the Super Bowl…a SUPER Super Bowl for us, by the way. Aaron would tell you that the team we voted for WON!! YAY!!
Aaron enjoyed watching the game with us. He didn’t have many new insights, except for thinking that he heard something upstairs on fire. What?? He was sure of it.
“I hear a snappeling sound!” he insisted.
Gary and I assured him that there was no fire upstairs, but finally he had to prove it to himself, so up the stairs he stomped – he does sound like a bull elephant! – and came back with the report that there was no fire upstairs.
“There’s the snappeling sound again!” he soon insisted once more.
Still no fire.
We eventually realized that the “snappeling” sound he heard was the sound of the player’s shoulder pads hitting together. Who notices that sound?
Aaron does. And isn’t that word just the perfect word for a crackling fire?
He didn’t eat much of the food I fixed. He did try to convince me when I told him that he could have two Rice Krispie Treats that this was, indeed, only TWO! 😊
On this Monday after Super Bowl, Aaron had an autism doctor appointment. Aaron would tell you that we were eating lunch at Old Chicago as the main event, with the doctor visit as an annoying side trip.
He was chipper and happy, eating some breakfast I fixed him, but by the time we left the house later he had greatly changed. I think he had a small seizure that I didn’t totally catch, only seeing the end of it. Therefore, on the way to the doctor he was very tired, keeping his eyes closed most of the way.
The doctor does a good job with Aaron, trying to get him to communicate with her, but he was still draggy and tired…and his answers often very inaccurate. She and I end up, as we did yesterday, talking about my Aaron concerns.
And my concerns seem to grow. Weight loss…behaviors…seizures…a hard time on many nights going to sleep.
Adding a medicine…the concerns with that…
Just on and on. And so many issues are unknown, even to doctors, when it comes to the brain and to the impact of long-term seizures and meds.
Now I was feeling dreary and burdened as we drove away, Aaron’s eyes closed again. Even inside Old Chicago, as Aaron managed to eat two pieces of pizza, his mood wasn’t his usual over-excited self.
But on the drive home, Aaron and I had fun watching the temperature drop number by number as a cold front blew through. He thought it was great fun! It was also great fun to anticipate getting a haircut, which he loves. I had signed in on-line and he was happy – but still very tired.
We ran home for a quick stop and to grab our jackets. Then I told Aaron that I was sure a few Reese’s Cups would perk him up.
“Yeah!!” he agreed.
He carefully took three small ones, put them in his coat pocket, and off we went.
I never know when we go to Great Clips just how the visit will be. As we walked in the door, I was just happy that Aaron didn’t barge in and loudly say,
“I’M HERE FOR A HAIR-CUT!!!” – as he so often has in the past.
However, yesterday I realized that we didn’t know any of the stylists. I could feel discomfort invading my happiness. I just never know if someone will understand Aaron or stare at him in that all-too-familiar way that makes me half angry and half sad. I was hoping for someone who knew Aaron and was good with him. Instead, we were given the perfunctory greeting as we entered, mixed with inquisitive stares.
Aaron and I sat in our chairs, him totally unaware of my concern. He wanted to know what Bed Head meant as he examined the products on the shelf, his voice still a little slurred. Finally, he sat down and carefully pulled his Reese’s Cups out of his pocket.
Two were placed neatly on the chair beside him, and the third he slowly unwrapped. He ate it, and then repeated the action two more times.
By then, the stylist walked our way and called his name…and I, with huge relief, saw that Aaron was in very good hands.
I knew he was in good hands because of the stylist’s big smile and her comfortable conversation with Aaron. There was none of the awkward staring or obvious discomfort that we sometimes encounter when we are out.
Aaron sat in the wrong chair, one he has often used, but she handled it so easily. Soon Aaron was sitting in the correct chair as the stylist asked him if he watched the Super Bowl. Perfect question!
“Yeah!!” Aaron answered. “Who did you vote for?!”
“I wanted the Chiefs to win,” she answered. “Did you?”
“Yes!!” replied Aaron, rubbing his hands together in delight.
They talked about Super Bowl snacks as she cut Aaron’s hair and trimmed his facial hair, and soon she was done.
“Aaron, would you like some good smelling stuff in your hair?” she asked.
“I need to ask Mom,” he said as he looked my direction.
“MOM??” he yelled. “Can she put some good smelling stuff in my hair?”
I laughed and said yes, of course, knowing how very happy Aaron would be with this turn of events. He doesn’t have enough hair for good smelling stuff, but that’s not at all important.
Smiling, good smelling Aaron left there a very different person than when we walked in. I did as well, I assure you.
And once again it hit me just how big a difference one person can make in another person’s day….specifically, in Aaron’s day…and thus, in mine.
Later that evening, Aaron was waiting on me to finish some things in my bedroom. He was hovering, as he so often does.
“Mom!!” he suddenly exclaimed. “Do you want to smell my hair?!”
Normally, that would be a no. A big no. But not today, thanks to our difference-making hair stylist.
“Sure I do,” I answered.
Aaron chuckled in joy as I took a sniff. He was rubbing his hands together, a sign of his total happiness.
Who would imagine that such a simple thing as good smelling hair stuff would bring such happiness to Aaron and to me?
His hair still smelled good, but more importantly, his heart was light and happy. The residual nice scent was like the residual warmth in our hearts, both of us.
Never underestimate the difference you can make in someone’s life, especially in the lives of our special ones. It isn’t necessary to spend money or to take tons of time.
A smile…a word…the warmth of understanding…are all such sweet gifts to each of us, parents and children alike.
That good smell lingers for such a long time!
Longer than the good smelling stuff in Aaron’s hair, trust me! 😊