Not Everyone I Know is a Service Provider or Autism Mom?

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?


Faith Along the Way





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  1. Yes, Yes Yes!!!! This happens to me all the time. First, I have four children – too many variables as to how I know someone. Second, we’ve moved a lot, so the faces get mixed up in my mind from state to state:). Next, because I have a son with special needs and services vary by school and redistricting, we’ve had children attend seven different schools in our county. Finally, my son with autism does seem to know EVERYONE (or they know him). We’ve joked that he should run for mayor. All the time, we hear, “Hi Barrett!” And we’re like, “How do you know our son?”
    Allie recently posted…Guest Post: Finding Ninee – The Little BusMy Profile

  2. I’m terrible at names or remember where I know someone from. There was this one girl who finally came up and introduced herself to me after we’d seen each other a bunch and we were confused b/c we knew each other from the boys’ school, basketball, and having a mutual friend.
    Shell recently posted…How to Make RisottoMy Profile

    • I think my problem is a mixture of things. 1st: I don’t get enough sleep, so my brain is inefficient. 2nd: My kids distract me, much like your situation. 3rd: Life itself is distracting and I am just too consumed with all that I need to accomplish to stop and really acknowledge people and I need to work on that!!

  3. I can definitely relate to being greeted by people who I don’t remember or know–my parents know a ton of people due to their jobs which means I’m often recognized as one of their kids. Smiling gets me a long way in awkward encounters…
    Rachel G recently posted…A Rainy VacationMy Profile

  4. Oh my goodness, so been there. I have a guys name and a British accent. Everyone remembers me, urgh it sucks!!!!! Shhhh, my secret is if I don’t remember their name I say “Hello girly, or girlfriend” Yep terrible I know, but what else should I do??? I try, I really do…
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  5. I can totally relate! I am terrible with names AND since doing the GFCF diet with my daughter, we never go out to eat anymore. I do, though, need to build more relationships with with special needs moms who can relate to the struggle of raising a child on the Spectrum. Thanks for sharing your heart with the Saturday Soiree Blog Party!
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