Aaron has a very special friend at his day group, Paradigm. Her name is Victoria. From the time Victoria first started attending Paradigm, she and Aaron just hit it off. They became fast friends.
Developing and maintaining relationships can be very tricky and difficult for Aaron. We understand Aaron better than anyone does but even with us he can be full of relational surprises. The tone of our voice…a particular hand motion…not following in his rigid demands… There are so many ways that Aaron can suddenly become upset and angry with those of us who know him best. Imagine the pitfalls of combining all the special needs and personalities in his day group!
But there is something very real and incredibly sweet about his relationship with Victoria. She squeals and jumps with delight when he walks into Paradigm. She misses him terribly when he isn’t there.
And Aaron…well, Aaron (as far as we know!) tolerates her noises because he sees how much she cares for him. He even shows empathy when a storm comes and Victoria is very scared, or when she is sad about something.
Who can explain love?
One thing I do know is that all of us, on whatever level we operate, want and need to be loved.
Aaron is an open book as he attempts to analyze and understand his feelings for Victoria.
One day, after an altercation with someone at Paradigm, Aaron was pondering Victoria’s reaction to that person.
“Mom, Victoria told N not to bother her boyfriend. Am I the boyfriend?”
Another time, as he talked to me about Victoria, he revealed more of his thoughts.
“Mom, would she be happy for me to tell her I think she’s a girlfriend?”
Gary and I have tried over the years to stress the relationship of friendship rather than boyfriend/girlfriend. But no attempts on our part to redirect his thinking on this can squelch the feelings in his heart.
“Mom,” he commented one day, “Victoria and I seem to match each other.”
Who can argue with that?
Then one day came this nugget of hilarious wisdom.
“Mom, every time I burp, Victoria laughs at me. And when I make the farting noise like this, Victoria makes it too. I think we’re right for each other!”
Love is a many splendored thing, right? 😊
Recently, our friend Barb from Paradigm sent some pictures she took as she walked with Aaron and Victoria to the popcorn shop nearby. As Barb said, this was so genuine and sweet.
I cried when I looked at them.
And I thought of another comment that Aaron had made about their relationship.
“Mom, can you tell that Victoria and I have a good place with each other?”
And I think it’s a very good place to be.