So, I've been missing in action for a while! Sorry. The last couple of weeks this summer has really had me scraping the bottom of the barrel emotionally, physically and every other way you can think of. As the start of school approached, life started to settle down a little. My birthday came and went (which honestly, I could care less about!) but that always bring about the dreaded family get together. Not that I don't like my family of course, but because we never know what to do. Should we just stay home? Should we go to my parents? Or should we try going out to a restaurant?
With Jonah, going to a restaurant is always difficult because of his allergies. There are 2, count them, 2 restaurants in town that we can go to that will accommodate his allergies. So, of course, it's always safest to eat at home. Even at my parents we run into allergy problems because their house has cross-contamination everywhere and we literally bring everything to cook, down to butter, salt, tin-foil, etc!
For Ethan, the sticking point is more the restaurant. There's always tons of people, the lighting is weird, and it bothers him that he has to think about what he wants to eat but then they don't give it to him for 10 or 15 minutes. It is usually a stressful event and is that really something I want to deal with for my birthday?
Ultimately I decided that we would try the restaurant.
Despite kids fighting throughout the day and my waking up feeling like the hunchback, by the time dinner arrived we all rallied, put on smiling faces and good manners in pocket, and met my parents at the restaurant. The dinner went great! Everyone ate all their food, no one complained, we even ordered dessert! It was the most pleasant meal we've ever had with the kids in tow. After we ate, we went home and grabbed our puppy and headed back out to PetsMart. Before you knew if, we were like a real family...the kind that eats dinner out, does a little shopping and then back home. It literally felt like a dream!
I know plenty of families who do things all together all the time. No one has to stay home because of the meltdown potential. Or because there will be too many people and it might be too much to handle. Or because there's just nothing on the 1000+ items on the menu that your child can eat. But that has been our life for as long as I can remember.
Our perfect night will not happen every time we go out, but it was so wonderful for just that one night. It was the best birthday gift ever!