February 27, 2015

Dumpster Dates

In 1998, when Alan and I were dating, he took me on the most incredible date.

He took me to the local gas station for a 29 cent soft serve ice cream cone.  We ate our cones behind the gas station, sitting on a dirty curb, next to the dumpster.

It was a great date.

Little did I know during that date that Alan already was fixin' to propose to me - not there, however, because that would have just been too romantic.

Apparently, he is drawn to the kind of girl who doesn't stick up her nose at a 58 cent afternoon date at a table curb for two by a dumpster.

It was what he could afford, and it was wonderfully simple, just like I like life to be.

Something happened over the past 8 years of our 17 years of marriage.  I call it the Side of Special.  It has taken everything that was simple in our lives and turned it into something very complex.  If I let myself talk my special language and spouted off at the daily complexities of the special life - I would lose every reader I have.  Parenting a child with special needs, especially when those needs include physically and medically complex needs, affects every single aspect of our life.   It affects when we sleep, what we eat, what we say, how loud we can say it, where we go, where we can't go, what we can drive to get there and who we can talk to when we arrive.  It affects our marriage, our other children, our friends, our employment, our finances, our vacations, every minute of our daily life and our very outlook on everything we see. Despite our best attempts to the contrary, the special life has made for a very complex life.

My husband and I long for the return of simple.

So we seek the simple inside of the special.

This week, we took a page from our beginnings, for a wonderfully simple dumpster date. We sat late at night, by a dumpster, behind a gas station, and sipped some wickedly delicious peanut butter hot chocolate and talked about our day.

It's comforting to know we can still find a little moment of simple, buried in this big complex beautiful pile of special.