What a full heart I have from my date night with Daniel (17, autism). It wasn’t announced, planned or anticipated: it’s just that Dad is out of town, and Daniel fixates on whatever coupons we have lying around the house. In this case, an unused coupon for $5 off at Uno’s is just too much for our resident pizza-hound to bear. It’s simply unforgivable we should let something like that expire. And as he pointed out. “We haven’t been there in a LOOOONG time!” And if you’ve never had their deep-dish cookie sundae for dessert, well, let’s just say he didn’t have to twist my arm too hard. Not to mention my first week on the job as his high school’s Attendance Secretary has, shall we say, “inspired” me to stay late to finish the day’s workload lest I start the next morning already behind the power curve. (Read: I had no clue what to do for dinner.)
The shared pizza and sundae didn’t do much to actually nourish our bodies, but oh, what the conversation did for my soul! Yes, a conversation. Not a gameshow monologue where I had to pretend to be interested, but bits and pieces, back and forth, an exchange. Vacation plans for July. A query from me as to his understanding of what daddy’s new job is all about (Executive Director, Naval Sea Cadet Corps.) How his English teacher and para bragged on what a fantastic job he did that day on his presentation of Elton John’s Candle in the Wind: An Historical Perspective. (Refer to my earlier posts on God and Elton John to get the full significance of this.) We talked about his post-high school future, and how he still does not know what he wants to be when he grows up (either a gameshow host or some sort of actor/entertainer.) And the eye contact! He looked at my face! He seemed interested in what I had to say! He was responsive, engaged, appropriate!
Driving home, I said “I REALLY enjoyed that dinner, Daniel.” He said, “Me too.” I said, “The food or my company?” He said, “Both.” That was a gift, straight from God’s heart to me. Thank you, Father.
~ Danz Mom, Peggy