The UNhappy Uncle Aaron

Well, it’s time for another Uncle Aaron update.  This is one that I have not wanted to make.  You can probably tell why from the title.

Before I begin, let me say once again that the reason I write this blog is not to just tell funny or heartwarming Aaron stories.  I began this blog years ago as an effort to educate people about special needs, autism and epilepsy in particular.  Especially the autism part that makes Aaron so very amazing and unique.

But there is another side as well…a side of Aaron that has a hugely difficult if not impossible time adapting to change.  Add to that issue the reality that Aaron is the center of Aaron’s world.  He gauges almost everything in his life on how it will affect him.  He has a heart as big as all outdoors in one moment, but in the next he might be having anxiety or a meltdown over something that isn’t going as he wants.

Our little grandson, Ryker, was born on December 21.  Now Aaron was Uncle Aaron for REAL!  But when we showed Aaron pictures, he backed away as if Ryker might reach out and slap him.  Aaron was nervous and acted like he really didn’t care about our new family member.  We knew then we needed to tread lightly as Aaron adjusted.

But look at Aaron’s smile when he opened this Christmas gift.  We were hopeful.

I flew to meet Ryker a couple weeks after he was born. 

Five days later, Gary and Aaron were flying in for a couple days.  But the morning they were to leave, Aaron had a full-blown meltdown.  The day before had also been rough. 

To top it off, the flight was delayed that morning.  Making the connection in Denver was doubtful.  A very upset Aaron having to wait a long time for an uncertain flight in a strange airport far from home…ummm, I don’t think so. 

Gary and I knew we needed to cancel the trip.  The relief in Gary’s voice was palpable and I totally understood. 

Aaron’s voice over the phone was thick with emotion and tears.  After Gary cancelled the flight, Aaron was filled with guilt over what he had caused.  He also worried about our reactions, and knew he should apologize.  He was pretty pathetic.  Here are Gary’s words in a text:

“He is 180 the other way now.  Walking him back from his sorrow is almost as difficult as getting him out of his anger.  Constant sniffles, watery eyes and suggestions in addition to the ‘I’ll go…I promised Mom and I promised Andrea’ there is ‘Can we get another airplane…can we drive, can we go tomorrow…dad, I’ll go.’  I feel like I just took a long trip!”

Gary continued:  “He has said several times, ‘But I promised Andrea,’ and ‘I need to say I’m sorry.’  So I’ve said that we’ll call her and apologize.  He walks to the phone and pauses, then says he can’t.  It’s too emotional for him, I think.”

Down in Texas, I was full of both anger toward Aaron and sorrow for Gary, whom I knew should be there to meet his first grandchild.  This picture should have included Gary.

It was good to talk to Gary, to Andrea and Kyle, and to have wise input from family and friends.

But most of all, the turmoil I felt was relieved by stepping back in the quietness two mornings later and reading scripture as I held precious Ryker.  I read Psalm 62:  “With You is unfailing love.” 

How can I not love Aaron since God loves me in my stubbornness? 

How can I not extend to Aaron the grace that God has extended to me?  It’s honestly easier to accept God’s grace to me than to give that same grace to Aaron at times like this. 

And like Gary also said:  “I often wonder what God sees when He looks down at me?  When I do not do what He would have me do or I don’t do what I should do, does He look at me like I look at Aaron?”

So, here we are.  I wish I could report that Aaron has turned around and has decided to love and accept Ryker.  But that hasn’t happened yet. 

My second night home, this past Saturday, we had a particularly rough night with Aaron.  There he was, sitting up in his bed, crying with brokenness and saying that he was afraid we would only love Ryker and not him.  Gary and I assuring Aaron of our forever love for him while fighting our exhaustion and frustration. 

Andrea is right when she said the next day that Aaron is just like a little sibling when a new baby comes into the home and the older child expresses jealousy.  Aaron has no filters and makes no attempt to hide his feelings. 

But here’s the thing and it goes back to autism. 

Aaron CAN’T filter or hide what is going on with him right now.  He is literally unable to do that. 

Out it all comes and we are left to deal with it.

Sorry this is so long.  Trust me, I could say a lot more but I’ll hush now and say thank you to each of you who have read this volume.

And a special thank you to those of you who have been praying for Aaron and for us.  Please don’t stop.  We need much wisdom and love.

Before I go, I just HAVE to share one more picture of our precious little grandson.   It’s what a Gramoo does, right?  😊   

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.

34 thoughts on “The UNhappy Uncle Aaron”

  1. Ryker is a beautiful child (as is his mommy)! I am SO sorry that Gary’s and Aaron’s trip to meet him turned into such an upheaval. I’ll be praying that the next trip will go smoothly, that Aaron will remember this distress and regret, and choose to be brave–with God’s help. Please know, Patty and Gary, that God looks upon the two of you with delight, not disappointment (Psalm 147:11), because you reverence Him and have put your hope in his unfailing love!

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  2. You know Patty I agree with your sage daughter, Andrea, who said that Aaron is like a little sibling, and as the older child expresses jealousy about the new baby. With the autism Aaron can’t filter what is going on with him as you know. What a beautiful but difficult blog

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  3. Ryker is beautiful and I’m glad you got to meet him. Andrea is gorgeous and takes after her momma.
    Patty, I’m praying for the peace of God to saturate Aaron regarding the new changes in his life. For you and Gary, I pray for endurance, continued grace, and divine wisdom through the daily challenges. In Christ may God be praised and magnified.

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  4. Patty, I’m sorry to know that Gary and Aaron didn’t make the trip to visit. I have and will continue to pray over this. I’m thankful God’s word has brought some direction and comfort for you. Little Ryker is as handsome as his mom and gramoo are beautiful. ❤️

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  5. Oh. Patty and Gary how blessed Aaron is to have you both as parents and how blessed your readers are that you are recording the journey.
    I just imagine heaven the three of you there and Aaron in his glorified body. The laughs you three will share

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    1. Oh Gayle, sometimes I think of Aaron in heaven, too. I wonder how he’ll look and how he’ll be, all healed and whole. But I do think he’ll still walk around saying, “MOM!!” 🙂 🙂 Thanks for your kind words, Gayle.

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  6. Patty, First of all, let me say Ryker is beautiful!

    You know I worked with children with high functioning autism for 22 years. There is a side to them that is absolutely endearing! But they also deal with issues that make life difficult for them and change in routine is a big one.

    Our expectations for a child with autism has to come from understanding their disability. I realize YOU know these things, but not everyone does. Your blog goes a long way in helping people understand this disability.

    I want to encourage you to keep writing! If I would have known you when I was still teaching, I would have definitely printed out some of your posts to share with general education teachers and parents. The biggest obstacle I faced was that people didn’t understand these kids and so their expectations were unfair. So keep writing, my friend! Only the Lord knows how and when your posts have touched the heart of someone crying out to Him for answers.

    I love you in the Lord, my sister in Christ. This Scripture comes to mind: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

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    1. How you have encouraged me, dear Cindy. I deeply desire to help others love and understand those with autism, both the amazing qualities and those that cause great misunderstandings and frustrations. We have seen what happens when those who work with Aaron don’t understand him, as well as the huge difference it makes when others do get him and are then able to be his friend. I love the verse you shared and I love you.

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  7. Patty, your new grandson, Ryker, is so precious. It was good that you got to spend time with him. Aaron, really seems worried he will not get any love or attention and needs to compete with Ryker, The heart of an orphan, who feels he has to compete with others because he is not lovable. He doesn’t know his true royal identity. Praying he will learn who he is!)

    Andrea really understands Aaron. Hopefully, Gary will get to visit Ryker soon. Aaron does like his routine and its predictability. Praying for Aaron to realize there is enough love for him and Ryker. When you and Gary get weary, wait upon the Lord and see him renew your strength. I see you and Gary mounting up on wings, like eagles 🦅 on the winds of adversity and soaring! Love, prayers, hope, grace, and many prayers. All your tears are being collected by your Heavenly Father because they are precious. ❤️❤️❤️

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    1. Thank you for your very encouraging words, Hazel, and for your prayers most of all. God has impressed upon me Psalm 46:10: “Be still (quit striving!) and know that I am God.” I’m so thankful that He is in charge and know that I need to rest in that truth. May you have a very blessed Lord’s day!

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  8. Dear Patty, I read this soon after you post but didn’t have the words to comment. My heart simply ached for your heart. Know that I’m sending a hug wrapped in prayers your way. Your love and commitment to each of your children is such a beautiful gift that you give them. Ryker is a very blessed little boy to be born into a family that will hold him close with unconditional love.

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  9. What a beautiful grandson! How exciting you and Gary must be Patty. I pray Gary will get to hold his grandson and that Aaron accepts Ryker soon. I bet Aaron will love seeing him once he does.

    Sharing autism is what brought me to your blog. I admire your honesty and faith in God. I miss my client with autism since I retired, but I still talk to her on the phone.

    I wish I was your neighbor because I would have gladly stayed with Aaron so Gary could have gone. Congratulations Grandma!

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  10. Hi Patty, Ryker is just the cutest kid! It sounds like it is hard to deal with Aaron’s emotions sometimes but on the flip side, it is so refreshing to read how he doesn’t wear the mask that most of us wear. I was at prophecy class this morning and David Jeremiah was saying we need honesty more than anything but lying is one of the hugest problems, brought to us by satan. Prayers for Aaron to accept Ryker being sent. ❤

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    1. Thank you so much, Cindy! That means a lot to me. I’m doing fine – just busy in different ways or too tired to write. I have blogs brewing but that seems as far as I get right now. Gary and I will go to Houston later this month, still without Aaron. Aaron is softening a bit but still not totally on board with all this uncle and nephew business. Your prayers are a blessing, and so are you! Love you!

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