Susan's Blog

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Much Ado About Lunching

I wrote the recent “Lunch Hour” post about Nat and me, out at Paparazzi on Friday. I took him there after his annual checkup at the doctor, right before his annual EKG (because of the Resperadone). I wrote the post that way, in third person, because the idea occurred to me during our lunch. I was keenly aware of how nice it was, eating in this pretty, elegant place with my grown-up child.

As we ate, I kept glancing at Nat, so composed, so much a delightful young man, (and so well-behaved!) that I realized that no one around us would ever guess that he had a profound disability. To think that this was the same person who — God forgive me — made me feel imprisoned by his unpredictable behavior. Who, at age two, had cried incessantly at every family gathering. Who, when he was four, cried and yelled through an entire meal at a Cape restaurant while the host tried to get him to stop or us to leave (he didn’t; we didn’t. Three years later, this was the same restaurant where Nat showed us that he had learned to read: W-H-A-L-E spells ‘whale!’) Who, at eight, tossed a pieced of chicken or something into the air which hit at a man at a nearby table. I could go on and on. I would never have believed us today.

I kept imagining an observer at another table, listening to our staccato, syncopated, but acceptable conversation. The way Nat would look at me, dutifully, politely, when I spoke to him, and who would answer, but clearly would rather have been eating the delicious thing he was waiting for. The way I was listening in on those around me. The annoying women behind us, who were so squeaky and loud, talking about the shallowest things. The men having lunch, one of them, the one with the shaved head, looking over at me a little too much.

My lunch guest was handsome and sweet, sunny and attentive. A little quiet for me (my lunch companions are usually un-shut-up-able, in the good sense) but beautiful to look at. So I ate, looked, and felt my pride rise and cover me like a warm heavy comforter.

5 comments

I got it when you posted it and was thrilled with your happiness — I’m glad to hear you say how happy you were.

— added by Donna on Monday, September 22, 2008 at 10:12 am

I can be so gullible. You can be so descriptive. -Tina G.

— added by Anonymous on Monday, September 22, 2008 at 12:02 pm

I am so happy to here that you and Nat had a good lunch. My sweet Punkin was home for the weekend too. We didn’t go out to eat, I took her to my mother’s house for a visit. We got her to help clean up around the house and to help mom pick turnip greens. She really enjoyed that! Your twin in Alabama

— added by Anonymous on Monday, September 22, 2008 at 12:20 pm

You faked me out!

Again: thanks for the hope.

— added by Someone Said on Monday, September 22, 2008 at 1:49 pm

You give me such hope, Susan. I hope you know how much I cherish reading about things like this. It gives me hope for the future, for my own son. Thank you.

— added by ASDmomNC on Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 6:25 pm

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