Monday, August 13, 2012

Date night!

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
~Matthew 11:28

Our church had a parent's night out last Friday.  They have these every so often, but I've been a little nervous to sign us up.  That old fear of being told "yes, this one and this one, but please not THAT one" again.  It hurts bad, folks.  Doesn't take much to make you afraid of it happening again. 

I must add that I have no basis for thinking that these people would say that.  Ryan has been welcomed overwhelmingly by everyone here.  But old habits die hard.  In the interest of taking my own advice... stepping out, reaching out, and admitting I need an evening without chicken nuggets... I sent the email.   

The organizer of the event was more than happy to listen.  She really listened, and even thanked me for, my tips and heads-up.  They sound a little crazy, I must admit.  

"...don't start a puzzle with him unless you're sure all the pieces are there.  He cannot handle an unfinished puzzle.  He'll color best, if that's an activity at all, if he can color by number.  I just found this out this summer!  He absolutely LOVES water.  If he sees a faucet or fountain he will want to turn it on and play in it.  This is a problem we fight at home.  If he should start this, redirecting is the best plan."

Sounds a little overprotective mom-ish, no?  Well, of course not to all you who have ASD kids.  But I desperately needed a break.  Eric desperately needed it too.  So, with a few emails like this under our belt that were met with compassion, trust, and understanding, we went for it.  

Dinner at a Japanese steakhouse.  Open flame right in front of us!  Just the dinner prep would have had Ryan through the roof.  He would have loved the chef flipping implements though.  

Oh wait... we're talking about the kids again... but that's okay. 

After dinner, we ran into my favorite craft store in Waco, right before it closed.  No really.  We RAN.  It was awesome.  

Then what to do... what to do...  then Eric turned to me and said "Honey, you've never seen the suspension bridge all lit up in the evening, have you?"  

Why, no!  No I haven't!

I have now.  The above is a view from the bridge.  It was such fun!  There were a couple of college guys with a huge bag of tortillas, feeding the ducks.  We walked up to watch them, and they let us throw a few!  

On the bridge.  You really ought to go there!

My sweetie.... my Prince Eric.  Yes, like Ariel.  Except I still have my voice.

After the bridge... we even saw a rat that wasn't too afraid of people.  He wasn't aggressive, but when a rodent looks up and says "beautiful evening, eh?" I'm pretty sure he's not worried about my presence.  He was not, however, interested in taking a picture of us, so we had to settle for the arm's length shot. 

We picked the kids up, and they were safe and happy as clams.  It seems everyone enjoyed all of them.  

A true picture of a caring community.  Without understanding, caring volunteers, this would not have happened.  It was a needed respite.  Those three hours were glorious.  

Once we had the kids in the van, we drove home, singing along with Daddy playing DJ.  All of us had a great time!  The kids enjoyed it as much as we did. 

Thanks be to God for Redeemer!  

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