A few weeks ago I was contacted about an old school reunion. Surely this was an excuse for a night out. My first night out since the world changed over two years ago. The old me would have been really excited about seeing some old friends and having a fun night out. How times change.

This potential night out sent shivers down my spine and I agonised over it.

  • Where am I going to find a child sitter. A child sitter my son is comfortable with. A child sitter with experience in autism. I couldn’t come up with one viable option. After our son was born we hardly ever went out as a couple. If we did go out for a night, it was as a family. But as the autism became more prevalent these family nights out stopped. But at least one of us could stay with our son if the other partner wanted to go out – it worked well.
  • Because the venue was over an hours drive away, even a relatively short stay at reunion would have meant an extended period of childminding.
  • How would I react having my first evening/night away from our son in over two years.
  • Would I be able to cope at the reunion. It feels such a long time since I’ve done anything socially like this.

In the end I sent my apologies. I’m sure that the correct approach would have been to go. Yes you can list a number of valid reasons why I should have gone. But was I disappointed, not in the slightest. For the night of the reunion we ordered a pizza delivery and watched the two Paddington Bear movies. It was another lovely night. This is my world until our son is ready to fly the nest. Yes it does have its downsides but it is the biggest privilege I could possibly have. I count my blessings for this opportunity.

66 thoughts on “Night out

      1. Yeah and finding a good sitter is imp couple of months ago I left my daughter with a sitter so I can exercise in gym to my horror when I went to pick her up , my daughter had bruises on her face and since she can’t speak right now I didn’t know what happened. My suspicions other old kids might have pushed her and the sitter was least bothered!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awe! Oh my! Yes, those thoughts do come to mind too often. 😌 That time will come. It’s a bitter sweet journey. And I only pray that when the time comes, that they may find a good loving spouse to share the rest of their lives with.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. People think that kids need things to be happy. I once heard a saying, the best things in life, aren’t things.
        He wants and needs you, and that’s the best childhood he can have. To have you and for you to love him, that’s it, that’s all that happiness is to him! You’re doing great, I mean being aware that you’re wanting the best for him, that’s incredible in itself! 😊🙏🏽

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I had some friends that once their children were born, they stopped being a married couple. They were mom and dad. They lost why they fell in love in the first place. They are now divorced.

    You are a single man as WELL as a parent. You need time for YOU too. Find someone your son is comfortable with and start doing things without him. He needs the socialization to understand not everything is scary and you need to figure out what YOU want to do with the rest of your life.

    We found out just how short life can be. Enjoy it……

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  2. I understand where you’re coming from. Unfortunately with some diagnosis, not everyone will be capable of caring for our children. I wouldn’t have regretted the decision to stay back either. These years are short lived, as the saying goes, the days are long but the years are short. I live with chronic pain due to my diagnosis and when I’m feeling well, I take in every moment with my little ones. I’ve lived the ‘social life,’ my life is different now and I’m more than ok with that. There are stages in life for everything, I’m past the social scene, I’m beyond blessed and thankful to be out of it. 😊🙏🏽🙌🏽

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    1. I totally agree. I’ve done the ‘party years’ (awful description but couldn’t think of a better phase), I’ve had the traditional family phase of my life (again an awful way to describe it – sorry) and now I’m in a new phase of my life. Like you I’m thankful. Those quality moments you spend with your little ones are so so special.

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      1. I agree! How’s the saying, been there done that. It’s ok, there really isn’t anything grand going on, so you’re really not missing out on much. Your heart is with your son now, whatever you decide to do, go out or not, your heart will let you decide. And there’s nothing to regret about that. 😊

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      2. No it’s ok! We’re humans at the end. It’s up to you whether you choose to go anywhere or not. You have your reasons and everyone else has to repeat them. It’s an invitation after all. You either choose to accept or decline.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It’s very child dependent. Some days you think you are making real progress with your autistic child and you can see a time when your not needed as much. Then some days things seem to have gone backwards and you see the required support extending into the future. It’s at those times I can view myself as being selfish or self indulgent when I give second thoughts to things like nights out.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It’s a progress and it’s something we shouldn’t rush. It’s a diagnosis and like all of them, we must be patient with it. I experience that with my son. There are days I think maybe he was misdiagnosed and then I see the clear signs of autism. My expectations need to be accepting that of autism. Otherwise I’m setting myself up. Whatever the case, whatever the diagnosis, he’s a beautiful boy no matter what! And if I have to be his caregiver until my dying day, then so be it, if I’m not and he’s able to care for himself, then great! Ether way, it’ll all be ok – he’ll be ok. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sitters are so hard to find. We all had to go to a funeral once, and of course we didn’t want to take Declan. But it really came to a head – we needed one! Finally found a neighbor that Declan was familiar with (and who was familiar with Declan) that we could go pay our respects for an hour. I so wanted you to go to your reunion – but would have probably done the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for wanting me to go – looking back part of me felt bad for even considering it. Usually it takes our son a protracted length of time to start to develop any sort of confidence in anyone. Not found that dream local sitter. So our only option in practice is aunts or uncles. But these have there own family life’s and are located in other parts of the country.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. when the world is a hard place to venture into we want to hold our loved ones closer, not because we can’t but because we know they need us more than we need to be out there. i respect the choice you made and that you chose to share it here. it helps me understand the choices I have made. Best of choice of the night – the two Paddington movies!! be blessed always.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hmm…old school reunion or Paddington movies with your son? Personally, I think you made the obviously more fun choice 😉

    But on a serious note, I have so much respect for the choice you made and for you trying to be a good parent to your son. Keep it up! You seem to be doing great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I didn’t go out (except to work) without my daughter until very recently – apart from if she had a sleepover at a friend’s, which was about once a year. Now, I feel she can care for herself for a couple of hours and she is eager for a bit of independence.

    Having been challenged with an alternative parenting situation, I have found alternative and very rewarding ways to enrich my life (and my daughter’s, too).

    Liked by 1 person

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