I have four amazing adult-children. Each of them is so unique that I stand back in awe and just think, “How did I get such great kids?” I could of course write a book about each of them…but for today Aaron is my subject, because he is one quarter of a century old. Sounds crazy to me to put it that way, yet it is true, and if he is that old then I am even older. Actually, 25 isn’t nearly as old as it used to be.
Aaron was the first of my three over-10-pound babies (Hannah was the only small baby), and my hardest delivery. The trauma of that 24-hour period showed in our eyes. The whites turned red with all the hours of pushing, so much so that they didn’t need identification bracelets for us. You could match us up because both of us had busted blood vessels in our eyes making us the only matching set of red-eyed mother/son…an interesting combo. I like to tease and say he has been trouble from the very beginning…but really, that’s not at all true.
He was an adorable boy with blonde hair, once he finally got some, and chocolate eyes. He had this belly laugh that would have gone viral if there had been such a thing back then. He talked early and could converse pretty well by the age of 18 months. He was a reader and his viracious curiosity insured that he always would be. He wasn’t too interested in sports, but science really captured his attention. In high school he and his friend Michael tried to microwave stuff in order to blow things up. A boy scout for years, he loved the natural world, fishing, camping, and all things outdoor…except bees. Once he learned to play the saxophone, music was added to his list of “must haves” in his life.
All of these attributes are well and good, but his heart is what really makes him who he is. To this day he is a caring and compassionate guy. If you get to really sit down with him you will also find he is a listener. He has many of his own opinions…some of them quite strong…but he also likes to hear and discuss the opinions of others. He will debate whatever you want to talk about, and can be a contrarian in order to make you think about topics in a different way. He loves to solve problems and to come up with new and innovative ideas on how to do things. Knowledge is important to him, and sometimes his mind and heart conflict with one another because both want to have their way. To see him work with autistic kids, or make me Mother’s Day breakfast in bed, or to cheer kids on at camp, or to work with the poor in Brazil…all of those things show what is inside his heart.
My favorite Aaron-heart story is when I was sick with cancer. Many days I couldn’t get up out of bed, or I would just be so tired out after a treatment that I needed to rest. He would crawl up next to me in bed, rub my bald head, and just talk to me about his day. Then we moved into deeper things…meaning of life type things. He was always thinking and asking questions and our discussions were a beautiful diversion from the pain. I was always fearful in those days, not knowing if I would live or die. He told me I was going to be fine. “I know it because God told me so.” And that settled it for him. I treasure those memories even now…10 years later.
May 26 is his birthday and I wouldn’t trade him for all the tea in China. We have walked some pretty interesting roads, with many more to come. I am so very grateful for this man/child. I love him dearly. Happy Birthday Aaron.