EAting outMy husband and family love food – so do I. Because I weigh nothing and eat like a bird, most people find that comment to be BS, but it’s true. I want to go out to eat. I really do. I want to try new things, taste new flavors, experience other cultures… But I have two boys, with special needs, and that is simply not possible on a random Wednesday night out.

We arrived at (let’s call it an upscale sports bar/restaurant) tonight on the early side. We normally eat around 8:00 so ordering by 6:00 was a HUGE accomplishment.

My seven-year-old son Dane has CP and doesn’t walk. He had been complaining earlier about how his butt was sore from sitting in his ‘seat’ all day. Can’t say as I blame him. I’d lose my mind if stuck in the same position all day.

I put him in my lap and ordered a drink. By the time I was ready to order dinner Dane had pee’d his diaper and quickly let me know that after a big-ole glass of ginger ale it had soaked through his pants and would soon be spilling out onto my jeans.

I curtly asked my husband to finish ordering and told him to grab Dane so we could head off to the bathroom, STAT!

He swooped up Dane’s 55lb. lanky frame and ran off to the loo.

In true dude bathroom form there was really nowhere to change Dane. My husband brought him back out saying that he’d just take him out to the car. Great, except that it was MAYBE 15 degrees outside and I was in no mood to drag my giant baby boy outdoors, into the dark, and disrobe him in the coldest of climates.

I grabbed Dane up and took him into the ladies’ room. Jay averted his eyes, helped open the door, tossed the diapers and wipeys to me, and after throwing some paper towels down on the cold, cold tile floor, I commandeered the handicapped stall.

Dane apologized a dozen times. I want to stress that my beautiful boy, in no way responsible for the fact that he has cerebral palsy, apologized to me several times for peeing in his pants. That’s the absolute beauty of the boy I am raising. He knows. He just plain knows.

I changed him, dried out his pants the best I could, tucked a few paper towels into the appropriate places and brought him back out where his Daddy was waiting to grab the door and extra wipes.

When we made it back to the table Dane recovered well. He ate his pasta, tried my buffalo Shrimp and only apologized two more times.

Jett, a year older than Dane, a VERY sophisticated eight-year-old on the autism spectrum, was sitting at the table troubled because he needed to finish eating his chicken to earn dessert. The waitress had taken his fork. He wouldn’t touch anything with his bare hands.

I gave him my fork.

He smelled it.

“This smells like, like, like, whatever YOU were eating.”

“Fine.” I said. “I’ll wipe it off.”

I took an ice cube and rubbed it on the fork. I wiped it with a clean napkin. “Here you go!”

Yeah. Right.

Jett sniffed the fork and sighed. “Still smells.”

It probably did. If it did – AT ALL – He’d know it.

His grandmother handed him her fork.

He still wouldn’t budge. He actually picked the chicken up (with his bare hands – holy crap!) and after several winces actually put the chicken in his mouth!

So, ultimately, I think I ate something. I’m sure I had a couple drinks. My kids were dry and fed.

We successfully loaded up the car and took our brood home.

I smile A LOT. I have a lot to smile about. But I think it needs to be said that I don’t do anything alone. I have the best support system – ever.

My Mom-in-law watched my son, Jett, while we took Dane to the bathroom.

My father-in-law footed the bill.

And my husband, my unshakeable husband, does whatever it is he has to do to make things happen… daily.

We all should. Things would get done. Things would be better. We all would be better. Period.