So, tonight we had this rare experience where we actually sat in a restaurant as a family and ate dinner together. I know. Shocking, right? Seriously. Not shocking because I’m an autism mom and we never go out because my child has autism. Screw that. I’m not letting any of that hold us back. It just felt like forever since we sat down in a real restaurant that didn’t have sticky tables and crummy kids’ toys. Plus, we needed to celebrate because we may actually get out of our staggering medical debt next month for the first time in two years thanks to The Manager getting a real bonus and in that moment, I may drop dead from actual shock.
Right. So, we sat in there in our booth. We always sit in a booth because you can’t trap children when you sit at regular tables. Chairs provide open spaces. If you sit in a booth, you put one adult with one child and one adult with the other child, and you’ve effectively provided a humane prison where the child gets trapped between the wall and an adult with space between for playing so no other patrons get disturbed. The only escape? The floor. Not that Squeaker doesn’t use the floor as an escape route; however, it takes more time than just hopping out of a chair.
But, I digress. We sat there, waiting for our overpriced food to arrive when two familiar faces came up to the table. I thought, “Oh no, I know these people. I hope they introduce themselves so that I don’t have to recall names.” I am horrible at remembering names and I just could not recall who these friendly fellow patrons called themselves. They said hello to my children and to me, didn’t really introduce themselves to my husband, and went to their table. My husband assumed my son knew one of them and started asking him about it. I mean, we meet most of the people we know either through the Autism Society or through his school. Why not? My son expressed frustration because he had no idea. He met them in passing a few times, but had no close relationship with either of them.
It took me a long time to figure it out. I sat there and racked my brain. Where did I know them? How do they know us? How does my husband not know them? And that’s what gave me my ah-hah moment. Church. I know them from church. They’ve met my children and know their faces and names, but my children don’t really know them. After the church sermon, the kids go to their Sunday school and I go to mine with my age group, which is where I know this couple from. I need to do a better job remembering names, that’s for sure. But I came to this realization that while I’ve made all these efforts to tie us to the general population as well as the Autism Society, I forget sometimes that not everyone in our lives are services providers and Autism Moms. I’m starting to get a healthy mix of both sides of the world in my life. Now if I could only find time to actually socialize on more than a shallow level with either, I think I’d do really well. And maybe then I’d remember people’s names too.
Do you have trouble remembering names or have you got some kind of magic trick to help you remember?