One recent night, after Aaron and I had watched an episode of The Waltons, I had a brilliant idea. Now you must understand that after the program we are watching is over, Aaron wants the television off. No watching ANYTHING else when our show is over.
Don’t ask me why. Don’t ask me to explain many of Aaron’s quirks. He has his own rules in his own way, and he expects us to abide by those rules. If we don’t…well, it’s not utopia around here.
Back to my brilliant idea. During our last visit to see our daughter and son-in-law, Andrea had shared a fun song with us. She played it on YouTube, on their big screen TV, and I LOVED it. The song is Sea Shanty Medley by Home Free.
Fast forward to our house on this particular night as Aaron and I finished watching The Waltons. I wisely decided that while Aaron cleaned up the multiple snacks he carries to the family room to tide him over during our show, and while I finished my before-bed chores, that I would turn to YouTube on our new big television and listen to Sea Shanty Medley.
So, I did just that.
And Aaron became unglued.
Watching something…ANYTHING…after our show is not allowed.
“MOM!!! Turn that OFF!!” he exclaimed.
And I…being the kind mother that I am…turned the volume up a tad.
Aaron also turned his volume up more than a tad.
So I…remember my kindness…played the song a second time.
Let’s just say that it was quite a relief when Aaron finally fell asleep later.
The next night, after watching the next Waltons episode, Aaron’s head jerked around to me as soon as the last Walton’s goodnight and musical note was over. He was checking to see if I clicked on YouTube again.
“MOM!!” he loudly said, “don’t listen to that UTOPIA music like you did last night!!”
Oh my goodness, how he can make me want to laugh in the middle of my frustration!
I wanted to correct him.
“It’s YouTube, Aaron, NOT utopia!! Believe me, this is not utopia around here!”
But I didn’t.
However, his comment has made me think a lot about our version of utopia.
Utopia – defined as a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions.
Aaron’s version of utopia centers around his desire to have his life ordered in those rather eccentric ways that matter to him. We do it this way every time, people! If we cooperate, then his life is a place of ideal perfection. Never mind that ours is not.
But life doesn’t work that way and therefore Aaron’s utopia gets all jumbled up…as does ours.
Yet even more important is our attitude concerning this utopia idea. Gary and I do get tired of Aaron’s ups and downs…of how verbal he can be when he is angry…of how tiring it can be to try to meet his utopia demands while keeping our own in mind.
One evening, Gary and I were particularly spent. We snuck out to our front porch and sat in our rocking chairs, breathing at last without Aaron’s interruptions.
But then this happened.
It was another moment when our attitude was tested. And we have learned that it’s best to adapt to each of these moments with as much kindness and laughter as we possibly can. Easier said than done some days.
Back to our utopia. We have changed our own personal definition of utopia as we have parented Aaron over the years. Our satisfaction and joy must be centered in trusting God. In knowing that where He has placed us is where He will give us what we need.
Let me share with you some beautiful pictures of our utopia.
The pure delight of bubbles:
The sweetness of sharing a beetle with Mollie next door:
The delight he finds in animals:
The fun he creates out of the mundane:
The happiness found in a simple game:
The rapture of all that cheese on his pizza:
Our attitude is of utmost importance. Our attitude determines our joy. We can always be looking at that other definition of utopia…an imaginary and remote place of perfection.
Or we can resolve to look at our utopia in the face of our special son.