Dinner at the Vegan Bistro

We just got back from a belated birthday dinner at a new vegan restaurant I have been wanting to try, just me and my Aspie, as guests of a family friend. My Aspie was in his element, doing something he loves with me and a friend who has a special connection with him. It occurred to me, our life is not heavy all the time – just when I am trying to make him conform.

I watched him from across the table – we two adults sat together on one side of the table while the man-child sat on the other side. As we read the menus, he asked, “Is it weird that I’m a kid and I already know what all these wines taste like?” He knows from watching the Food Network and from tasting food cooked with wine. He has told me that he has already decided he will never try alcohol, thinking it’s a bad idea to mix with his meds.

Our friend said, “No, it’s not weird. In many cultures where people drink more wine, kids grow up knowing what wines taste like.” That started a discussion of traveling, living abroad, drinking local water or not, bacteria in the gut, the immune system, and other fun dinnertime topics.

My Aspie repeatedly offered me a sample of his cornmeal-crusted oyster mushrooms, and I repeatedly declined politely. Finally I said, somewhat perplexed, I didn’t understand why he kept offering me oyster mushrooms when he knows I am allergic to shellfish. He and our friend erupted in laughter and he explained, they are only called oyster mushrooms, there is no oyster, only mushrooms. I was mesmerized by his gestures, gentle and graceful, as he described the shape to explain why they are called oyster mushrooms.

Our friend asked about school, and my Aspie told us that his class started a unit on Byzantium and he already knew all the facts. I asked when he had learned about it, and he told me that last year, in a different school, his classmate A “liked”  – had a typically Aspergian deep interest and knowledge of a narrow subject – Roman history, and so my Aspie learned what he could on his own about Rome and Byzantium so he could talk with A about his preferred topic. He related this in such a matter-of-fact manner that gushing about what a great friend he is seemed out of place, so I didn’t, though I thought it.  Imagine, setting out to learn some world history just to be able to talk to a friend, and then actually being able to do it.

I feel very blessed that he is such a brilliant and caring individual, yet I could not help thinking, even as half my mind was engaged in the spoken conversation, what in the world is there to grow up to do for a child like this? I know part of my anxiety stems from the fear born of ignorance. I have no idea what is out there for him.

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October 15, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Uncategorized.

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