Sunday was DS15’s birthday! Yeah, he is growing up. I am so proud of all the accomplishments and progress he has made over the past few years and I know that he will continue to learn and make progress in the years to come.
In case you don’t already know DS15 has Down’s Syndrome, ADHD, and several other disorders that can make life quite challenging at times. These challenges have been hard for me to overcome sometimes as a single parent and they can overwhelm anyone at times. Life has definitely been a roller coaster over the past few years.
Last night Mr. Awesome treated DS15, DD9, and myself to a lovely dinner. Before leaving for dinner I surprised him when I showed him the video I finally got posted on YouTube… lol. I don’t know that he will be ‘YouTube’ famous but I felt like he deserves a little bit of fame as he really is pretty amazing at what he does, just like his dad. (I would’ve posted a video of his dad but I was busy dancing.)
He has a four year old son who is also following along in his footsteps and seems to be drawn to the world of square dancing. He will sit right alongside his dad and granddad while they call the dances and he will call right along with them. He even looks up square dancing videos on his daddy’s tablet. His favorite part of the dance is the ‘Big Circle’ when he gets to ‘Circle Left’ and then tell everyone good night. The caller will usually say ‘No Yellow Rocking‘ but we don’t pay him any attention and we give everyone a great big hug. He just loves getting those hugs!
But anyways, getting back to dinner, we went to Yamato’s Steakhouse in Gainesville, FL. I had only been there one time before and the kids had never been. There was a large group of people outside so I went in as he went to park. When the hostess told me that there would be at least a 30 minute wait I almost went into panic mode. Why? Well, anyone who has went anywhere with DS15 knows that he doesn’t like to wait. We have been working with him a lot on this but I was scared that we might have a melt down. Mr. Awesome came in about the time I was ready to leave and he assured me it would be ok and it was.
We had a wonderful time as you will see by the pictures. Yes, we did have a couple of ‘Uh Oh, Here we go’ moments but we were able to redirect him and help him remember his ‘calm down’ technique. Once he took a couple of deep breaths and closed his eyes he would calm down and everything would be ok. I know he was nervous, anxious, and super excited. His little heart was racing and several times he asked Mr. Awesome to feel his heart… it was almost beating out of his chest. The smile on his face was more than enough to let us know that he was enjoying the moment though.
We were blessed to share a table with some folks who were very understanding and didn’t seem to mind when DS15 would start to get a little bit loud. Our waitress was also pretty amazing and it was remarkable how clear DS15 spoke when he talked to her. He was sure to let her know that it was his birthday… lol. He loves birthdays! DD9 was sure to let her know that it was also her birthday as big brother seemed to have forgotten about her.
We did our best to keep him amused as we waited for the chef to arrive. It was a tad bit cold so he wanted to keep his jacket on, until he didn’t. Then he insisted on tying it around his waist with a wonderful performance that entertained the whole table. When the soup arrived he was really unsure about it but he did give it a try before deciding that he didn’t really like it. He did however really enjoy the salad with the ginger dressing which was evidenced when he licked the bowl clean.
He got a bit excited when he saw the big flames at the tables around us. Little sister was very curious and asked a lot of questions. DS15’s eyes got huge when the chef came in with the cart of food. The presentation was amazing and the chef was very nice and made sure to talk to everyone. I was amazed by how calm and quiet DS15 was… he is never that quiet unless he is doing something he shouldn’t be doing.
Both kiddos were completely mesmerized by the chef and the hibachi. Everything from the first flame to the volcanic onion was a new experience for the them. The expressions on their faces were priceless. I tried to snap as many pictures as I could but the lighting didn’t cooperate. I was able to get a few good shots though.
We had some sushi before the meal and it was so good! I’m not a sushi expert but I’m telling you I loved it. Beware though because the wasabi is especially HOT! I like hot things and I’ve eaten wasabi before but this was way hotter than any that I’ve had before. It reminded me of the scene in Cars 2 when Mater thought the wasabi was ice cream… lol.
For dinner we ordered the chicken for the kids and steak and shrimp for ourselves. I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed the food. Maybe part of it is the fact that I don’t eat out a lot or the fact that I do probably 99% of the cooking here but it was delicious! Everything was cooked to perfection. The Yum Yum sauce was definitely yummy and it reminded me of the Japanese White Sauce I make to go with our Chinese Fried Rice with Veggies.
I really love watching the chef and how he was able to use the hibachi to cook several different things at once. I think I may be adding ‘Hibachi’ to my Christmas list… of course the kitchen would need a remodel to fit it in but it would be so useful.
The meal was a bit pricy, I don’t know quite how much for sure but I believe it was over $100 and that was with a birthday discount. (I have read that the lunch menus are 50% off but I’m not sure about that.) We did get a lot of food and everyone brought a take out box of food home. We also ordered some Dragon Rolls and California Rolls to take home to DD18 who really loved them.
Then it was off to WalMart for some birthday gifts and grocery shopping. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get everything finished up or not as DS15 was still overly excited and I was still anticipating a possible meltdown. Once again I was pleasantly surprised. He held onto Mr. Awesome’s hand as DD9 skipped along behind them.
I walked a bit behind just watching them. It was almost like I was in the Twilight zone… I don’t know if it was the fact that Mr. Awesome was with us, the fact that DS15 is maturing a bit, the fact that we have spent a lot of time working on behaviors and calm down methods, or maybe a mixture of all of it but it was amazing. This would’ve been a completely different scene just a couple of years or even a few short months ago.
Our WalMart experience went pretty well. We had a couple of moments when I was ready to just go home but we made it through. For their birthday gifts DD9 picked out a Scruffies Kitten whiled DS15 wanted a light saber. Then they each picked out a new hat from sporting goods. Afterwards Mr. Awesome went off to explore a few things while I grocery shopped with the kids. It did take me a lot longer than normal even though I really didn’t have that much to get. DS15 wanted to touch or grab everything and insisted that we ‘needed’ everything he saw.
I gave DD9 the grocery list and a highlighter so she could mark off the items as we found them. Then I gave DS15 the job of helping me spot the items we still needed. I also let him help me by lifting the heavier items into the buggy. They enjoyed the grocery shopping and we made it through without any major meltdowns.
Mr. Awesome and I talked a bit on the way home. I thanked him for the wonderful dinner and evening. He brought tears to my eyes when he told me I didn’t need to be scared of doing these kinds of outings because he was there and I didn’t have to do it alone anymore.
Mr. Awesome and his family have been involved with special needs children for a long time. They know some ‘tricks’ that I don’t know and they understand a lot of the behaviors and quirks that come along with special needs children. I am so very thankful that God has allowed our paths to cross.
I have said before that God works in mysterious ways and we might not understand what we are going through or the trials that we have been through but God has a plan. He is using our trials and experiences right now to form us and shape us into the individuals he needs us to be.
Often times we pray to God for specific things that we think we need without realizing that he already knows what we need. When we let go of things and hand them over to God He will take care of us. He will bring us what we need when we need it. His timing is always perfect.