The dinner table.
What? You were expecting some enlightening links to sites that you finally talk to people that would finally have all the answers you were looking for?
Now, don’t get me wrong.. the advice, support and stories that I do find among the internet’s social networks have been invaluable. I’ve learned so much.
However, the absolute best place to learn, to be entertained and to get real world experience is right at my supper table.
How Dinner Used to Be
For the longest time, Cameron would be a passing visitor to the dinner table. He’d take a bit and then run off to play, or stim, or just be by himself… then he’d return for another bite and be gone again.
Many in our family questioned whether it was wise to allow that, or just generally asked why it was that way… for us, we were just happy that he would eat. If it meant taking a little extra time for him to play, so be it.
As he got a little older, his speech developed and so did his social skills. He was in school, his little brother was talking and wanting someone to play with… soon, Cameron started to enjoy being at the table dinner table.
Dinner Time is Family Time
These days, dinner usually consists of my wife and I telling Cameron to stop repeating the same stories over and over again, or the new song he learned or something of that nature and to just eat… it’s a good problem to have.
We’re often told stories about the new video game they have at school, or a new story they were told, or a new movie he saw, or something funny that one of the other children said… none of it really seems to involve actual involvement with the other kids, just what they did.
But you know what? It’ll come.
It took this long for him to actually sit down and speak to us. We can wait a little longer.
And even if it never comes, even if he never does tell us about all the things he actually does with friends…. that’s ok too.
I learn far more from listening to him than I do from any resources online. I am entertained by him far more than I am from any videos or stories I read online.
I’ll never take these dinners for granted.
One day they will fade away into memory, as my boys get older and want to be elsewhere… and that’s ok also.
That’s the great thing about social networks. They grow, they shrink, they’re always changing.
But they’re always supportive, educational, sharing and most of all, they’re always there for you.
Before you leave, let me share with you what happened during the last social gathering around the dinner table. Enjoy.