Don’t Try to Change Me!

The word “change” is not a welcome word to many who deal with the issues of autism. 

You can phrase that concept any way you want.

“Come on, just roll with the flow.”

“Be flexible!”

“Try it.  You’ll like it!”

I have told you how Aaron won’t eat his popcorn at the theater until the actual movie begins.  The commercials before the movie are NOT the movie.  Neither are the sometimes endless trailers that are then shown.  Trailers are NOT the movie!  Aaron will continually look down at his big tub of popcorn that he has placed on the floor beside his feet, waiting expectantly to dig in when finally THE movie begins.  Then he will pick up his popcorn and visibly relax as he begins to eat. 

Aaron does the same thing at home.  When we sit down to watch a show, he will lay his snack close to him, but he will not begin to eat it until the show actually begins.  He will sit through opening credits.  He will sit through a long intro such as Blue Bloods has.  You’re not going to fool Aaron.  He knows that these programs are tricky and that they have opening music that hasn’t played yet, so don’t EVEN try to get him to eat until all the preliminaries are over and done.  Ice cream may even start melting, but Aaron doesn’t care. 

Aaron has carried this “waiting for the actual event to start” idea over to his music that he listens to in the van.  This past Thursday we started on our way to pick up our food delivery for Meals on Wheels.  We had been listening to Brad Paisley.  I pushed the button to start the music.

Aaron pushed the button off.

I pushed the button back on.

“MOM!  I don’t want to listen to music right now!”

“I know you don’t, but I do,” I replied.

He pushed the button off.

I pushed the button back on.

“MOM!!” he protested, “I said I don’t want to listen to music!”

“It’s not just about you, Aaron,” I responded with more patience than I felt.  “I do want to listen to music.”

Aaron was still and quiet for a few seconds.  Then off went the button again. 

I sighed a very deep sigh.  My lungs are in such great shape, living with Aaron.

“Aaron,” I began, “you want to wait until we actually start delivering our meals before you turn on the music, right?”

“Yes,” he replied.

“But we can listen to music now.  It won’t hurt anything to do that,” I told him.

I pushed the button back on.

I could feel the pressure building in Aaron, just like my pressure cooker at home.

He pushed the button off.

“Mom,” he began, “uh…you know…uh…”

And thus began Aaron’s attempts to start a conversation under the guise of wanting to talk instead of listening to music.  I just decided to let it go.  Hey, that’s a song!  It should be my theme song!

Bless Aaron.  I know he can’t help it, but really…!

Later that afternoon, Aaron was very happy that Gary was going with us to Nellie’s Pond for a walk.  But there was that issue of Aaron wanting to sit in the front seat of the van because that’s where Aaron sits when I drive and he and I are usually in the van by ourselves so the front seat is his and that’s the way he likes it and that’s the way it should always be…..

“Mom!” he began as he was processing his plan, “I know.  Dad can ride in his truck and you and I can take the van!”

“No, no Aaron,” I said with a laugh, “that’s not the way it’s going to be.”

But Gary, in order to give Aaron a perfectly happy experience, sat in the back seat while I drove, and Aaron sat in his front seat.

Just the way it should be, in Aaron’s world.

And sometimes we do put ourselves into his world…actually, lots of times…so that he can relax and have total fun.

Walking through life with Aaron…balancing discipline with the rigidity of autism…is certainly an exercise in patience and wisdom. 

Gary and I do not possess either of those qualities in the abundance that is usually needed but I am so thankful that God gives and also forgives.

So often, too, I find that it is me who needs to do the most changing.  God knows that all too well!

I wonder how often I am the Aaron in God’s life.   😊

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.

30 thoughts on “Don’t Try to Change Me!”

  1. Wow, you have given me so much to think about. You have such wisdom in these circumstances, Patty. I really appreciate that final sentence. I’m sure I have been the Aaron in the lives of many people. You’re right also about God’s forgiveness. I am so thankful for that. Hugs today, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved today’s post as it fits closely with our experience last week with our family’s visit, including some similar moments with our 13-year-old grandson Christian. Thank you for taking the time to give us personal advice. We did have some wonderful times at the beach at the park and going to church. But just as you say, they are almost always punctuated by a struggle over doing everything Christian’s way. That just doesn’t always work well with 4 other brothers and sisters chiming in and his mom and dad sometimes bounce between tolerating, correcting or shouting in frustration. To all the other imperfect families out there – what I learned this week is, that like in the Kung Fu Panda movie—there is no secret formula…it’s just you (and Jesus) We said goodbye on Thursday, thankful for a full week of hugs and walks and ice-cream and bike rides. We’ll see them again in the fall and just trust God knows the answers on the road ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Pete, I truly know just how you feel. All of you. Andrea and Andrew really struggled at times growing up with Aaron, especially in everyone’s teen years. None of us understood what was going on and even when we learned about the autism we still didn’t have answers of what to do in each situation. Trial and error, went with more than success. Yet every crisis also created growth and experience on which to base future decisions. It’s just not easy. All you can do is take things a day and a moment at a time, pray a lot, and know that tomorrow is a new day. And also know that you are NOT alone. God, and many other families, are walking along beside you.

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  3. The sentence about your lungs being in great shape made me laugh, Patty! I love your sense of humor and how you apply it to the circumstances of your life. And your conclusion applies to ALL of us. How patient and compassionate our Heavenly Father is with us–even when we balk at cooperating with Him! “He knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust” (Psalm 103:14 HCSB).

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      1. Please continue sharing because these nuggets of truth and reality are important!

        FYI, Danny just finished 3 month after chemo testing, and the first test sent us to our knees. His bloodwork showed his cancer marker out of the world high. We were floored. After a battery of tests, we got “clear” on everything else. A little…, no, a BIG reminder God has the final say. The oncologist didn’t have an explanation for it which-I won’t deny-leaves us with a bit of doubts that all is well. We’ve decided to treat that as the apostle Paul did and say it’s God’s way of keeping us humble and at His feet. Turns out, it’s a comfy place. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh Cecilia, that is scary but I do love your all’s instant reliance on God. And what you said, that being at Gods feet is a comfy place. Wow!! You have encouraged my heart this morning. Thank you! ♥️♥️

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  4. Dear Patty, if we all were just that eager and anxiously waiting for Jesus to come back to take us to heaven !!!! What joy we would experience by waiting patiently with the expectancy like the moment Aaron experiences great joy after the REAL appearance of what is coming for Aaron. For Aaron, I think it is a tremendous power of self will that I could use some of that waiting determination.

    But I can’t even imagine how hard it is for you and Gary. to experience it especially so often. Well done in your work of waiting patiently over and over again.You and Gary do well in Aaron’ s unchanging world. You find a way to make good out of the unwanted. Aaron will be so happy when he knows that his God is an unchanging God. Well maybe even more than happy coming from his unchanging world. 🤩

    I love you two. You are good and Godly witnesses

    The Lord bless you and be gracious to you and give you peace. 🙏🏽

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Once again, my friend, you reach out as my great encourager. I’m so grateful for you! I love what you said about God being unchanging. That reality would definitely suit Aaron very well. I love you, Sharon, and pray for God to be your constant companion and strength every day.

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  5. Thanks for sharing this Patty. You reminded me to continue to be patient with others. There are countless times I too have been the Aaron in God’s life. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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