A Spectrum Supper

We all arrived looking glamorous. There was a sparkle in every ladies’ eye and a brightness to their smile. One mom and I decided an outside table would be lovely. After the long hard winter, it would be bliss to eat outside. The table was fancied up with linens. There was a soft warm breeze, rolling green hills, and a giant blue umbrella of a sky.

Even after a long hard day, we looked as fresh and new as the morning that started it. Only God knew what kind of morning, and afternoon, each one of us had before this moment. For me, I was cheering on Goldi as she takes these last days of school one day at a time. When she came home, I was cheering her on again, assuring her I would return soon and don’t worry. For me, I had to calm a storm that meltdowns bring when mom gets lost in the excitement of “girl time” and forgets to prepare her daughter. Heaven only knows what the rest left before they arrived for this gathering.

We sat down and immediately conversed. We’ve known each other for a year or less. But in some sort of “God moving in mysterious kind of way,” we almost can tell each other’s stories as though we’ve known each other forever.
“So nice to see everyone again.” says one.
“I was so excited to get out! shares another.
“I just celebrated my son’s birthday party and then left the family to clean up the crumbs. I wouldn’t miss this for the world.” said one mom with her sunbeam smile.

We talked “get acquainted.” We talked “catch up”. We even laid out some pretty deep “bearing of our souls” kind of talk. The continuous conversation erased my hunger for food. It took nearly an hour for us to realize we hadn’t even ordered yet.

There were nods, winks, and some finishing of each other’s sentences.
“Sometimes kids can be so –”
“Mean” we all chime.

Sometimes we made jokes that only we could get.
“I have this thing about fruit and meat!” shared one mom.
“You must be on the Spectrum!” I said.
Laughter followed.

There are terms that float around the table that must sound like a foreign language to anyone listening in.
“I took my kid to ABA last week.”
“I watched my kid Stem the other day.”
It’s all understood with no translation needed.

With ease, we share our worries and challenges.
“My child likes to run. What if he goes too far?”
“We are building a new house so we can stay in the school my child thrives in. It’s going to be a change.”
“Common sense tells me, this is the right choice. I sure hope so.”
“I sometimes feel like my child is so noticeably on the spectrum.” I share.

Every word is heard. Everyone has more than two cents to share. These are moms of Spectrum Kids. Moms who live day to day with a child with autism. Moms who have painted their hair blue in April. Moms who have spent the cost of a home mortgage payment for therapy. Moms who have come to IEPS ( sorry another abbreviation – go look it up) as a lawyer, teacher, doctor, all rolled in one and without the degree. Moms who cried when their child got the official label “Spectrum Kid” but dried up quickly and began to move forward seeking out possibilities and dreams for them. Moms who can tread through the thickest and muckiest meltdown and still come out looking like a Queen.

We ate until filled and I am not just talking about the food. Dusk approached quicker than time indicated. It took a very abrupt standing up on my part to end the evening for me.
“Thank you all”. I said ” And take care.”
“We’ll do it again!” cries out one.

We will do it again. We’ve already been in communication about that. Until that day draws near, we’ve stirred up one another towards more good works for the sake of our children. We’ve encouraged one another. This Spectrum Supper was more than fine dining. It was a real feast.

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