The other reason is, well, Rhema. Dining out would require waiting, sitting down, sitting still, not trying to scoop the ice out of someone’s drink, not trying to eat the shredded cheese off their salads, keeping the funny noises to a low volume, and did I say, waiting?
But over the past year, Rhema’s teachers have taken her on community outings. They’ve hit the mall, the grocery store, and even restaurants.
So this past week I was feeling dare-devilish when I proposed to the husband that we, imagine it!, go out to dinner as a family.
And the Red Sox won.
And when the Red Sox win, kids eat free at our restaurant of choice.
So if we had to high-tail it out of there, I reasoned, because Rhema stripped on the table or Hope went into anaphylactic shock, well at least we wouldn’t have to pay for their dinners.
So we put on open minds and smiles, held our breath, and bravely dared to go where we’d never gone before.
French fries are usually fried in the same fryer as other foods containing gluten, so we asked the restaurant to bake rather than fry Hope’s fries. They also boiled a hot dog separately for her, bun not included, and gave her a side of mandarin oranges.
Because Rhema has a tendency to eat crayons like candy, we don’t have them in the house. So she was overjoyed to find crayons at the restaurant and colored a kids menu so feverishly that tiny pieces of crayon flew everywhere. She also had her own cup full of ice that kept her occupied until she started trying to color all the ice cubes.
She was perfect! She ate her food, even though it was somewhat new and different. She acted like she’d been dining out for ages. (Thank you, Rhema’s teachers!)
And Hope’s face didn’t blow up or anything. She was able to safely eat everything she was given.
I was so happy, so proud, so thankful.
Such a simple thing.
Yet it’s something I have wanted to do as a family for years…
This journey we’re on… sometimes it is so hard and the challenges just seem insurmountable. But it’s days and moments like these where God blesses in such a specific way and I think, I know… we can do this.
We are doing this.
We’re getting better.
All of us.
So look out eating establishments of America! We’re all brave and encouraged now. We’re actually thinking about trying to do this again.
Next time the Sox win, of course.