Keeping Me Company

This afternoon after Aaron got home from his day group, I decided to vacuum out the dirty van.  He and Jackson decided to join me.

I didn’t think that Jackson would hang around because he doesn’t usually like the vacuum cleaner.  He hides from it in the house, but in the van he was as relaxed as could be.  Maybe it was because I didn’t have a big attachment and hose on it.  Or maybe it was because Aaron was petting him and keeping him company. 

Anyway, it was sweet to see them together like this.  But I think Aaron is hanging around Jackson too much because he told me, “Mom, do you remember that I had a bandaid here on my leg?  Well, today Cody took it off for me and when he pulled it off there was a bunch of my fur on it!” 

You better not shed in the house, Aaron!!

Lessons From the Injured Bird

When Aaron returns from his day group at the end of his day, he almost always comes in the garage door. One day last week I happened to be in the living room and saw him running toward the front door as soon as he got out of the van. Oh, he’s probably just in a mood to ring the doorbell multiple times, I thought. So I opened the door before he had time to push the buzzer and when Aaron saw me he breathlessly said, “Mom, there’s a bird on the porch!” Stepping outside, I looked around and saw the poor bird behind the bench, huddled against the side of the house. All the commotion and noise scared him, so he lifted himself up and began to hop away. That’s when I saw that he had some sort of neck injury. It was pitiful to watch him because he couldn’t lift his head. His injury caused his head to hang and just dangle there as he hopped off the side of the porch. Aaron wanted to rescue him but I knew that we couldn’t save this bird’s life. I sadly watched him settle down behind our bushes and then went on in the house to explain to Aaron why we needed to leave the bird alone.

Later, after Gary and I had eaten supper, I quietly led Gary outside to the bushes and the bird. We didn’t want our Great Dane to find the bird, and didn’t want Aaron to see him again. There he was, huddled down in the same position as when I had left him earlier. We didn’t want to disturb him as we stood there looking at his beautiful coloring. Finally the bird heard us and once again tried to move away. It was really heartbreaking to see how his head hung down limply. We felt so helpless. Gary noted his coloring and that night was able to find out on the internet that our bird was a certain species of woodpecker. We didn’t want to think about the bird left out there all night and what might happen to him. Seeing nature up close at times like this is pretty distressing.

As soon as it was light enough the next morning I slipped outside and stood on the porch. Sure enough, our woodpecker was still there but he was dead. We weren’t surprised, really, and it was actually a relief to know that he hadn’t been grabbed and tortured by a predator. Yet we wished that somehow we could have helped him.

As I thought about this experience with the dying bird I was reminded of Matthew 10:29 where Jesus said, “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” The Moore family weren’t the only ones who knew about the unfortunate death of this anonymous bird. Our Heavenly Father also knew and even beyond the knowing, He cared. To think that our Father in Heaven, God of the universe, would care about our dead woodpecker was a beautiful picture to me of an even greater truth. God carries that care over to me, in an even greater measure than the bird. Continuing on in Matthew 10:30-31, Jesus said, “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” My God cares for me, even numbering the hairs on my head! He cares about my hurts; He cares about my disappointments; He cares about my pain; He cares about my worries; He cares about my children; He cares about my loneliness. And in I Peter 5:7, Peter reminded the believers to “cast all your care on Him, because He cares for you.” God WANTS me to throw my cares on Him – to let Him handle my anxieties – because He CARES! No matter how insignificant I feel or how scared I feel or how pushed aside I feel or anything else – I am told to throw that care to Jesus and He will care for it because He cares for me. What a promise! What a God! And what a lesson I was reminded of from our little dying bird.

More About Movies

For quite a long time, whenever Aaron would get a new movie, he would put it in a certain place among his rows of DVDs.  Then he would go back to the first movie and start watching all of his movies over again until he got to the new one.  If he received another new movie, the process would start all over again.  Honestly, this procedure of his wore me out but there was no need in trying to change his ways.  It didn’t hurt anything or bother anyone.  Again, it would be many months before he watched most of his new movies – just like reading his new books.  Now he doesn’t have that much structure about his new movies.  There are some that take a long time for him to watch but I think he finally realized that it would take a couple years to watch the new ones if he kept doing this. 

Also, he doesn’t grasp the give and take of normal conversations like you and I do.  He likes some of that, and enjoys some plots of movies.  But he really likes the action movies or the ones with huge genetically altered spiders, or rats, or bats……….you get the idea.  He just finished a movie about a gigantic shark and octopus.  He was so excited to show me the scene where the shark bites the Golden Gate Bridge in half.  “Mom, isn’t that cool?!”  Uh, yeah, Aaron.  And no, don’t ask me to watch that movie with you.  I’ve had enough of that for awhile, believe me!

His group goes to the movies every Friday.  One day, right after The Bucket List came out, he came home and was talking to me about his day.  I asked him what movie they went to see and he replied, “I don’t know.  Something about a bucket.”  That was the extent of what he got out of that movie!  But on and on he’ll go about the enormous, ice age, prehistoric, first frozen and now thawed out, huger than huge, meaner than mean……………shark.  Really?  Go figure.

Aaron’s Books

In telling you about how Aaron watches movie credits, I decided to tell you about his book reading ritual.  Aaron doesn’t read books with a plot or a story-line……………at least he hasn’t read those in years.  Social interaction is very hard for him and so books with human lives and conversations bore him.  Instead, he enjoys books of facts, such as these Handy Answer Books.  He has quite a few of these books and I continue to look for new ones that he doesn’t have yet. 

When he receives a new book in a series, he will do one of two things.  He will sometimes go back to the very first book in the series and read the books all over again, saving the new one until last.  Or he will put the new book on the bottom of the stack of that series, even if it’s not numbered in any particular order, and continue reading from where he is at the time he got the book until he reaches the new one.  Either way, he usually has new books for many months before he reads them.  Actually, sometimes it’s a year or longer before he reads the new book.  One reason for that is because he will only read at night before bed.  Again, the ritual and the routine of his life.  Gary and I have tried to get him to read during the day but he will NOT. 

One morning he told me, “Mom, the book I’m reading now is strange.”  So I asked him what was strange about it and he told me, “Well, all it says right now is http.www. and then some other things.”  Then I had him show me and I saw that he was reading the very back of the book, under the “Further Reading” section.  I questioned him the other night and found that he’s still reading that section of his books – but not the index, he said.  To Aaron, this is part of the book as much as the credits are part of a movie – and so he will read every word. 

No wonder his reading at night makes him sleepy! 

The Credits

I walked upstairs to get ready for bed last night and found Aaron in his room, propped up on his bed, and watching a movie on his portable DVD player.  His gaze was fixed intently on the screen and he didn’t look at me when I stepped into his room to tell him that I was going to bed.  In fact, without looking at me he held his right hand up and gave me the peace sign – his way of telling me that he hears me but is focused and wants me to be quiet. 

I did a few things and then went back into his room to give him a goodnight hug, which he wants every night.  He was still focused on that screen and so I walked around the bed, expecting to see that the movie was at a very pivotal point.  As I glanced down at the screen, I saw that Aaron was intently watching…………….the credits!  Yes – THE.  CREDITS!!!   We know that he does this but when I see him actually watching with such concentration something that most of us disregard – well, it just makes me laugh.  He totally doesn’t understand why I think it’s funny.  For crying out loud, Mom, the credits are part of the movie!  And when Aaron watches a movie, he watches the WHOLE movie – down to the tiny, miniscule print at the very, very end.  I’ve actually seen him pause the credits to go do something, and then when he returns he rewinds to the beginning of the credits so that he can watch them again from the beginning.  So amazing!

I just wish he was that thorough when he showers or brushes his teeth.

Mud on the Lake

Aaron’s word pictures and descriptions of things that he sees and hears are interesting, funny, compelling, etc.  For instance, lots of our lakes and ponds have algae growing on them right now because of the heat and lack of rain.  Today he exclaimed, “Mom, we passed by a lake and there was mud growing on it!” 

I tell you, Kansas can grow anything!!