Anyone who has been exposed to Aaron will no doubt agree on this: Aaron is very hard to ignore!
Aaron is going to do what Aaron is going to do. He is mostly unaware and uncaring of the reactions he generates from others.
Whether he is sitting in our front yard relaxing as he breaks apart the mulch:
Or dressing in this hilarious “fashion” for all to see:
Or deciding to pet Moe, our neighbor’s cat, on Moe’s level:
There is generally no stopping Aaron from forging ahead with his version of living life to the fullest!
Aaron struggles with waiting on me to do an activity with him. I often don’t tell him that we’re going somewhere, for instance, until shortly before we leave. If I tell him that we’re going out, then he hovers and gets very impatient with me. Best to just dash out the door quickly than to endure the anger that his impatience causes.
But some activities are set in stone, for the most part, and Aaron will begin his hovering when HE is ready for whatever that event is. Every night we watch a program together. Most often it’s a series that we are going through. Right now we’re watching Little House on The Prairie. Nearly every night Aaron will begin his impatient waiting for me to be ready to watch our next episode. He will stand outside my bedroom or bathroom door, talking and questioning and getting angry if I don’t hurry. One recent evening, I told him to NOT wait outside my door. I was pleased that he obeyed, and I could get ready in peace and quiet.
But when I rounded the corner to go downstairs, here is what I saw:
Oh Aaron!! 😊 😊
“I’m waiting on you to get ready!!!” he informed me.
And once again, Aaron was impossible to ignore.
When Aaron has crossed the line with his behaviors, though, one way to get my point across to him about his disobedience is to ignore him. I become quiet and I barely answer his questions, if at all. It’s hard for me to do that but I have learned that being ignored by me speaks more profoundly to Aaron than all the words in the world that I could use. He knows he has really done wrong and that he must make it right.
Last week Aaron and I were in a store. We were checking ourselves out when I ran into a problem and needed help. When the attendant stepped around the corner to help me, I saw that it was someone I have come to know there. Aaron knows her, as well. This person has a hard life, and sometimes she is very down. She doesn’t hide it, and when she approached me, I knew that she was having a bad day. She didn’t engage me at all when I spoke to her. I can handle that – no problem.
But Aaron doesn’t get those cues from people that you and I see. He noticed that her hair was different and so when she walked away from me, he followed her. When she stopped a short distance away, with Aaron at her back, he rubbed his hands together as he happily spoke to her.
“Your hair is short!!” he declared.
No response from her as she kept her back to Aaron.
“Your hair is short!!” he tried again.
Still no response.
I called Aaron back to me, telling him that she was busy, and he didn’t need to bother her today. I knew he was confused, though, because typically she engages him with interest and kindness.
As for me…I was so angry. For someone to dismiss and ignore Aaron has always been a very hard thing for me to handle.
I stayed pretty riled up about it for the rest of that day. I talked to my husband and to my daughter about it later. I stewed and brewed for quite some time.
But God, as He always does if I but listen, told me that I should not only pray about my reaction but that I should definitely pray for this sad person.
And that I should remember a verse from Psalm 37 that I had recently studied:
“Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it only leads to evildoing.” (Psalm 37:8)
Do you know what the word “fret” means? It means “to get burned up.”
And that’s exactly how I felt! It burned me up to see Aaron being so blatantly ignored!
Yet what I needed to carry away from this situation wasn’t my load of anger, or my justification for it. I needed to release my feelings to God and just put a stop to my desire to get even…to report her…to make a point.
Getting steamed about our hurts often leads to evildoing, as that verse says. We certainly are seeing that in our country today!
How much better it is to talk to God about it, and to follow the example of Jesus…who, though reviled, did not strike back.
It’s a choice I am allowed by God to make.
Do I choose peace? Or do I choose conflict?
It’s best to follow Aaron’s example, too. He does bounce back quickly from his anger and hurt, most of the time, settling in to the next thing that captures his attention.
So, like Aaron, I’ll find and choose the joy…in whatever shape it takes.