Taking Dylan out for a meal on a Wednesday evening seems to have helped with his transition to residential care as it breaks the week up and offers continuity with home. I don’t want this to become too much of a routine, however, so I have sometimes skipped a week and I try to build variation into the place and time that we eat.
I have found it a bit challenging to find restaurants which serve food which Dylan will eat and where he will be comfortable but tonight we discovered a quiet country pub with a real fire and cosy dining room. Dylan chose a snug table in a safe corner where he felt relaxed enough to look at his new library book, Handa’s Surprise, while we waited for our food. The location, ambience and menu tonight were good but what was even better was the kindness of strangers.
As well as appreciating the welcome we received from the bar staff and waitress, I was touched by the way one of the other diners interrupted her own meal to come and see if I needed help when Dylan developed a nose bleed. Dylan is prone to quite dramatic nose bleeds so he is used to dealing with them. He can get anxious, however, if they happen somewhere unfamiliar and I knew that this was a possibility tonight. As I couldn’t find the disabled facilities, I took Dylan into the (unoccupied) ladies toilets so as to respond quickly. The woman who came to offer help found us there and stayed with us, chatting to Dylan and being friendly and supportive.
I’m sure this made a difference to Dylan who remained calm and was able to return to the restaurant quite happily. The kind stranger had gone when I looked for her so I wasn’t able to say goodbye as we left. I drove home thinking about her, though, grateful for her intuitive understanding of difference and the generosity of her act.
This should have been my post for 2nd December but I was unable to publish it yesterday evening. After watching the result of the House of Commons vote (on air strikes against Syria) on the TV news I logged on to post this piece. However I discovered that, very unusually, my Internet connection was down. I imagined this was due to the terrible overload as people across the country tried to make sense of the news.