Finally Learning Our Lesson

We went to visit my family camping today. I have no interest in camping anymore, especially when they go out in the middle of nowhere and not near any sort of water source. I’m even less enthused when the “bathroom” is one of those plastic egg carton’s with half of the bottom cut out over a hole.

Just not my thing.

But, our son loved being in the middle of what he saw as the world’s largest sand box. He also got to ride on the four-wheeler with Grandpa a couple times and with his Uncle.

Unfortunately he also didn’t eat a good lunch while he was there, and really wore himself out.

After about three or so hours, we came back into town. All of us got baths/showers and a small bite to eat. Then, we decided to go eat at a restaurant.

Our son was so worn out that we finally had that typical autistic restaurant experience. I wish we had left the restaurant much earlier than we did, but my husband likes to try to calm things down. Finally, my husband gave in and we started to leave.

A strange woman got out of her booth to ask me what our son’s diagnosis was. She didn’t say hi, hello, can I help you? The first words out of her mouth were, “what’s your son’s diagnosis.” Of course, I just stared at her bewildered. Then she asked if we had one and than began listing: Autism? Bipolar? ADHD? I just said, “yes, we have a diagnosis.” What it is is none of her business.

She then said that she had a 19 year old who was on the spectrum and that she had many nights in restaurants when her son did the same thing. I just gave her one of those “ok, and this matters to me, why?” head nods and tried to walk away.

She wouldn’t let me go without putting her hand on my shoulder and saying, “hold your head high, there is nothing to be embarrassed about.” I couldn’t agree with her more. I wonder if she would have wanted to stop in the middle of extraditing her son from the restaurant to have the same conversation.

But, truly, I’m not embarrassed. We rolled the dice and lost. This is the *first* time since he has been alive that we have actually had to leave a restaurant. We learned the valuable lesson that his schedule is important. We can’t play fast and loose with the rules just because it’s a holiday.

My husband is still sulking about it, though. He really wanted Applebee’s.


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