Today when Courtney threw up for the 3rd day in a row, I had to take a deep breath and mentally remind myself that this didn’t have to ruin Thanksgiving. I told myself that we can make our Thanksgiving plans work even with a sick child. It’s been a weird virus. She has thrown up every morning the past couple days and the rest of the day you see these moments of her starting to feel better. So I figured if today were to go like the past couple days, she would be just fine during our Thanksgiving dinner at Coopers Hawk with Joe’s parents.
The day continued like the past couple days so we decided to still go out for dinner. Packed a bag full of her favorite foods, even though she hasn’t really been eating. Brought her iPad and her talker. I was preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.
Courtney for the most part uses her talker just to request her favorite food items and toys. Her therapists, both at school and at home, have also been working on her requesting when she needs a break. Usually she only does it after you have modeled it on her talker and are specifically working on her requesting it. I have never seen her really request it outside of therapy when she truly needed a break.
So tonight at dinner, she quickly got overwhelmed by the crowd and the noise at the restaurant. She kept grabbing my hand, trying to get out of the high chair and started whining. I tried to remain calm but all I could think of is this isn’t going to work tonight. We didn’t even make it to ordering our food and she already wants to go. Suddenly she reached for her talker and pressed “need to take a break”. Joe and I looked at each other both starting to form tears in our eyes. Our non-verbal child was just able to tell us she needed a break! The most beautiful words every! So what did I do? I immediately got her out of the high chair and I took her for a walk around the restaurant. I walked her around with tears in my eyes wanting to call every person that has been a part of her journey to let them know all their hard work and effort is paying off. I wanted to tell them on this Thanksgiving day how grateful I am for them. They have helped give my little girl a voice. For that, I am truly thankful!
…and yes, we were able to make it through dinner. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving after all!