Blog  /  Parenting, Special Needs  /  Romantic Dinner for Three, Please!

29
Apr
2015

 

It wasn’t where we saw ourselves in our early marriage, but somehow all these years later, we think a romantic dinner for three works for us.

 

We’ve come to realize that sometimes, if we want to get out for dinner, we simply must make the effort to go, and take our adult son with special needs along – whether a romantic dinner for three or with other couples that make Joey the extra guest. Oh, it wasn’t the plan, but it is now!

 

Recently, while away from home (our son traveling with us) we received two lovely dinner invitations and needed to mention our son would need to join us. One of the couples was so gracious to invite him along. They went out of their way to request what would make Joey most comfortable, what movies they could have available for him, and other very thoughtful questions to make our time with them as special as it was. (We brought his dinner and movies just to make it really simple for all of us. After he finished dinner while we chatted, we settled him in to watch a movie and we enjoyed appetizers, dinner and dessert without interruption! We had the most delightful time as couples while Joey was entertained by a fun movie just for him!)

 

After our time together we received this lovely note, “We so enjoyed having the three of you come for dinner. Please know that Joey is welcome in our home any time and that we love you all dearly!”

 

We just returned home from a conference where Joey needed to join because we couldn’t arrange for care-giving at home. Joey was with us for every meal and was warmly welcomed to our table  – whether dining or for discussion.

 

You may be reading this thinking, “My 5 year old could never do that!” Well, at 5, neither could Joey. It’s taken years of training for him to have very nice table manners, to remain quiet and polite, and to sit patiently until we’re finished. He’s an adult. It didn’t happen overnight (and for some of you, this may never come to pass), and we know there will be times when we’ll experience a meltdown (it happens) but we enjoy the moments that go well!

 

We’ve come to realize that not everyone gets our idea of romance: dinner for three, or adding Joey to make it “5”.  Some people may not feel comfortable with our children and some won’t try. But some do. And for those that do, we are most grateful. When I read that note, my heart was blessed. I know Joey was loved, cared for, and welcomed.

 

And I’ll take that romantic dinner for three….anytime!

 

 

Joe and Cindi Ferrini

Joe and Cindi have been married since 1979, live in Cleveland, OH, have 3 grown children (one with special needs), grandchildren, and enjoy speaking and writing together on topics related to marriage and family (FAMILYLIFE’S “WEEKEND TO REMEMBER Get-A-Ways” as well as for organizations pertaining to special needs), leadership, and time/life management. Joe has practiced dentistry since 1978; Cindi enjoys writing (books, blogs, articles, etc.), speaking, radio, and social media. Together they have written articles and blogs for Focus on the Family, FamilyLife, http://specialneedsparenting.net and here at FamilyMatters, and authored UNEXPECTED JOURNEY: When Special Needs Change our Course. They’d love to connect with you at: www.joeferrini.com or www.cindiferrini.com

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