Set It Aside

One morning shortly before Christmas, Gary and I sat down to eat breakfast with Aaron.  We were enjoying our eggs, sausage, and biscuits while listening to Aaron talk…always Aaron is talking! 

Aaron pushed back his chair and got up to get something from the kitchen – probably more napkins or silverware since one napkin and one set of silverware is never adequate in Aaron’s book.  I looked up then to see that Aaron had put his biscuit off his plate.  He had set it aside in order to keep his plate from being crowded and to keep the food from touching. 

We just left it there, choosing not to make that action an issue on this pleasant morning.  Aaron has his particular ways.  And Gary and I have learned to choose our battles carefully because disrupting Aaron’s ways can leave a trail of anger and frustration for all of us…and many times, it’s just not worth it.

Such is our life with autism, this matter of what to set aside and what to put back on the plate.

I had a full plate of Aaron issues last week.  We had unaccounted money gone from Aaron’s wallet, which means he probably gave some away at his day group.  He knows better, but he has a very hard time resisting the urge to share his money with his friends.  Therefore, he has become quite adept at not telling the truth, which was another issue we had to handle with Aaron.

Aaron became so frustrated that on Wednesday, he erupted in anger and tears at his day group.  He called me on the phone several times…he threw his shoe and his glasses…he yelled…and all in all was just extremely unhappy. 

His coat also got torn on both sides.  Aaron said that was done in fun as he and another client chased each other.  Either way, Wednesday was a rough day in more ways than one.

On Friday night, shortly after midnight, Aaron had the first of four seizures…the last one being at 6:40 Saturday morning.  I was fixing his favorite salad that morning, hoping he could enjoy it for supper as I hauled his wet bedding down the stairs and then helped him get settled on the couch for more sleep…and hopefully no more seizures. 

Bless his heart.  He can’t help his behaviors any more than he can help his seizures.  Yet while his seizures touch my heart, sometimes his behaviors do quite the opposite.

I thought about his biscuit as I was processing all that happened last week.  What do I set aside, and what do I keep on my plate?

I need to set aside resentment and anger, which is not always easily done.  Living full time with Aaron can take a toll on me and on Gary.  But God has led us to this life, and we know that He will keep us where we need to be if we just focus our eyes on Him and not on our circumstances. 

I must set aside selfishness.  Mending Aaron’s coat…taking him to have his bent glasses adjusted…washing his bedding and clothes…listening to his explanations over and over and over…  All these are actions that take my time and energy.  As any caregiver knows…as any parent knows…selfishness and service do not mix.  One must go off the plate.

Fear is another thing that needs to go.  Aaron’s seizures make my heart leap with fright for an instant.  I don’t think one ever gets used to them.  His future, too, can cause my heart to fear.  But again, I know that this path we walk is not alone.  God is with us each step and He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. 

Now what do I keep on my plate?  I keep the reminder of God’s great faithfulness.  I keep His Word in my heart.  I am mindful of His grace for each day and each moment.

I keep humor nearby, always.  A cheerful heart is the best medicine, like God said, for me and for Aaron, even when Aaron gives me a blank look when I think I’m very funny.  😊 

 I also count my blessings!  My plate overflows with blessings if I but look around me.  For instance, on Saturday I was very thankful for the blessing of a washer and dryer instead of a bucket and a clothesline.  Thankful for a warm house, food to eat and to fix for Aaron, and thankful that Aaron could eat some bacon and eggs later that morning.   And Aaron, who loves using multiple napkins, decided that the grease on his fingers could not wait for his napkin.  His eyes shot over to me as he wondered if I saw what he just did. 

“I was wiping a grease of bacon on my pants,” he seriously informed me.”

There’s the humor!!  😊 

Thankfulness, too, for Aaron’s amazing way with words.  After all, that’s a big reason I started writing this blog and named it He Said WHAT?!

And there is yet another blessing!  All my readers mean more to me than I can express. 

See how it goes?  My plate is filling up with good stuff, none of which I want to set aside. 

Time to taste and see that the Lord is good!

Author: Patty hesaidwhatks

I'm Patty and I write about our adult son who has Epilepsy and Autism, who still lives with my husband and me, and who is a package full of many surprises and joys and challenges and TALK! Lots of talking, which creates laughter and some other reactions as well. I also write about how God shows Himself to me in everyday life.

27 thoughts on “Set It Aside”

  1. I appreciate the nitty gritty yet still mostly cheerful honestly here. We have a special needs grandson who is about 13. Christian is not Autistic like Aaron, but he doesn’t learn like other children. Christian can barely read and his hand writing is like hieroglyphics but he loves to sing and when he doesn’t have an angry meltdown (usually at his brothers and sisters) I love spending the day with him. I do worry or maybe just intensely wonder about his future. Thank you for the many helpful hints and important advice sprinkled here between the lines. Blessings to you and all your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pastor Pete. Blessings to you, Christian, and all of your family. It’s not an easy road but so worth it to love and parent our special children. We honor God in serving these special ones. ♥️♥️


  2. You are quite an amazing family. And how do I explain this? It’s because I saw my family (growing up) torn apart by such little things, and I see you and your family going through ups and downs *together*, and that is really amazing ❤️ You’re a fantastic inspiration and role model to me!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I am saying healing prayers for Aaron! Humor always sweetens a frustrating day. Like everyone, I have a lot on my plate, but God is always within prayer distance. Cyber hugs and blessings !🦋💗🌺

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patty thank you for sharing your life with us, your readers. You gave so much wisdom in this post. It is so easy to concentrate on the small stuff and miss the big picture. Aaron gave me several chuckles while reading the post. His bigger than life presence, in yours and Gary’s lives is heart warming. Abundant blessings and giant hugs sprinkled with love and prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ohhh so good!!! What a BEAUTIFUL analogy!! I love what you said here: ‘selfishness and service do not mix. One must go off the plate.’
    My brother had a very rough week also…behaviors and seizures both😕…I’ll keep these guys in my prayers!!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Tears prick my eyes as I type. You are a prime example of the Proverbs 31 woman, my friend! You display noble character (v. 1), bring good to your husband–and family (v. 2), provide food for your family (v. 3), set about your work vigorously (v. 17), etc. And you are a stellar woman of strngth and dignity (v. 25). Your works bring you praise (v. 31), Patty, because you reverence God and seek to obey Him above all (v. 30). I count it a privilege to have become acquainted with you here!

    Liked by 1 person

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