Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wine, Food, and Special Needs Friends

The holidays don't mean that much to me anymore. My family and extended family are sadly estranged. However, this year, my friend who also has a child with special needs invited me to her house for dinner. I usually decline the few social invitations I get because of my children's behavior and diet but my friend's child is on the same restrictive diet so it would be an easy night as far as food was concerned.

Kai and I decided to go and I was determined to have fun so I promised myself:

1. If they don't eat, I won't care
2. I will pick my battles and only give Logan time-out for major poor choices
3. I will not be embarrassed for being too strict

At dinner, we all sat together at the same time with real plates, wine glasses, and cloth napkins, and just then I realized that my husband I had not been in such a scene in years. Our hyperactive kids always prevented us from meeting people in restaurants and even taking them to friend's homes as they would become overstimulated and eventually break something or hurt themselves.

Today was obviously different since our hosts were very understanding. I actually felt like a normal person going to a normal dinner party with a few exceptions. There was a typical child at the party who was only two weeks older than Spencer. My husband and I watched in amazement as he quietly sat down and fed himself pieces of lamb and squash with utensils! This is something Spencer is nowhere near able to do. Also, while Spencer's limited vocabulary includes words like "boo" for "blue." This boy says things like, "Those are yummy." I was grateful that my husband got to see this so that he understands the depth of Spencer's developmental delays and why I always need to fight to get him more therapy.

While our family is active and goes on outings every weekend, tonight was a great lesson that we as a family need to be more social. It's not just because we get to see how other children are doing. I like to watch my husband enjoy himself with other people, especially parents of special needs children. I had lots of fun and felt a lot less anxious but of course the glass or two of red wine also helped. I'm going to promise myself that I'll host my own dinner party soon.


Autismland Penny said...

IT will get better, I promise!!! You are in survival mode at the moment & as your child progresses, you will start to relax. Don't be too hard on yourself. Just do what you can and leave the rest to God. Praying for you!

Unknown said...

Logan and Spencer are adorable! So glad you had a nice evening out. The blog is fantastic... so proud of you. Happy holidays. Hyun