Friday, May 21, 2010


The first night that Alex and I held hands, we ate at a fondue restaurant. It's possible I've told this story before. Evidently all-you-can-eat fondue and all-you-can-drink wine specials are a good precursor to hooking up. They are also a good precursor to having someone throw up in a water pitcher at the table, but that's a whole other story.

I bring this up because I'm not sure that I've eaten fondue since that night. I know Alex hasn't. While he didn't throw up at the table, he did form a strong aversion to liquid cheese after that night due to his own, later, more private regurgitation.

Well, I finally broke my fondue-free spell on Tuesday night, and I have to say, it was both delicious and a lot of fun. The fabulous Jessica of A Parent in Silver Spring hooked up a bunch of bloggers at The Melting Pot, where we gorged ourselves silly.

I almost didn't go. I was tired, so very tired. It's entirely possible that I've whined ad nauseam about how ridiculously work-slammed I am right now and how it's giving me a tremendous amount of stress. I may have also mentioned that two of my kids have birthdays this month, causing a whole different level of business. Plus, Quinn had an IEP meeting on Tuesday, qualifying for OT special education services.

I was beat. Really beat. I didn't want to lose a whole night of working. But I remembered how much fun I always have going out with my friends. Thank God I did too. It totally reinvigorated me. It was exactly what I needed.

I won't list everyone who was there because I'll forget someone and then I'll feel bad. (Read: My mind is a broken sieve and I can barely remember my own name.) If you were there, you know who you are and you should know that you made my week.

I had some terrific conversations there, including at least a couple about autism that highlighted to me that the words I write really do make a difference. I write a lot and it sometimes stresses me out because I barely have time to manage my family and the things I actually get paid for, and most of my online writing, I do not get paid for.

There is a reason I write for free though, and it is this: Stimeyland and AutMont and DC Metro Moms and Hopeful Parents and especially Autism Unexpected? They give me a Voice. And, yes, I really do mean to capitalize Voice, because these platforms allow my voice to become a Voice. And what I say evidently really does reach people.

It turns out that realizing that I can make life a little bit easier for an autism parent or for autistic people who have to live in a non-autistic world is worth more than all the money in the world.

So, thank you, Jessica, for not just a wonderful, relaxing night out, but for a real lesson in the power of blogging. I won't soon forget it. Even if no one held my hand or threw up in a water pitcher.

Disclosure: I didn't pay for dinner. That was on The Melting Pot. (I hope. If not, I owe someone some money.) Thanks, Melting Pot!


  1. I almost didn't go also. And I am so, so glad I did. Will I see you tomorrow?

  2. I almost just drooled over the thought of the Melting Pot

  3. I have a bag of Trader Joe's Fondue in my fridge *right now*. It will be delicious, but I'm sure your dinner was all the more satisfying because you were with such great friends.

    Now THAT'S cheesey. But true, and heartfelt.

  4. I'm so jealous and I miss Fondue Fred's!!!

  5. Mmmm, it's - let's see - at least 16 years since I went to a fondue restaurant. It was memorable, though not for the reasons your first date was! I was in Geneva, backpacking alone in Europe, and it seemed like the thing to do. I went with a group of Americans from the hostel I was staying in. Language difficulties and cultural differences made for a hilarious evening.
    I'm glad you had a good night out. Sometimes it's exactly what you need to recharge the batteries.

  6. Quite frankly (and most of my friends also agree), fondue dinner can get so romantic yet very casual in so many ways. I guess there's really something romantic about sharing the same chocolate fondue pot, for instance. ;)
    I actually love making fondue dinner for my hubby, (well, now it includes my twin boys and a baby girl, lol!) complete with table setting and all. It can still get very romantic with 3 kids in tow, lol!

  7. That sounds fun and yummy! I've never been to the Melting Pot, but it reminds me to pull out our fondue pot sometime! Hope Quinn has a wonderful birthday!!

  8. I'm so glad you went too, even though I didn't get to talk to you much! I know we can any time, though, and I didn't want to hog you.

    Yes, you make a difference. You make a difference even to those of us who don't have any (other) firsthand experience with autism or autistic kids. You help us understand, so that we can be there for friends (old or new) whose kids are on the spectrum.

    If I don't say it often enough, thanks for that.

  9. I'm just glad to hear that the night was not topped off by someone puking in the water pitcher at the table.

    I am also very glad that you got a night out sans kids! I know those days are few and far between.

  10. If I was there I would have held your water pitcher and thrown up in your hand.

    Your words do make a difference, you have such a powerful Voice. Every time you write about the struggles and the hard parts and the JOYS of raising an autistic child I think "Oh yeah, she gets it, she's been there, I'm not alone." That alone has value beyond measure.

  11. Wish I was in your neck of the woods!

  12. you know what is SO hilarious? my hubby took me to the melting pot in college (when we were dating) to celebrate my graduation. AND THEN, in the car on the way home, I started feeling sick. he had to rush me home and I spent all night on the toilet. not so romantic. it was that night that i discovered my lactose intolerance condition! LOL. so Tuesday was the first time I had been back in years. And it was SO good. And I had a toilet-free night. and a fab evening with blog friends. what more could i ask for!

  13. I only go to The Melting Pot with girlfriends because it would SO not be Andy's thing. He and Alex are kindred spirits.

    Jean, everything you write makes a difference, from gerbils to autism, you make us think and laugh and hug our kids.


  14. Yes, your words do help. Me and others. ;)

    I'm glad you did go, I was super excited to see you in person and remind you that you have helped me tremendously in this ridiculously crazy time.

    Don't forget, you can't take care of us if you don't first take care of yourself. Get a little rest ... we'll still be here.


  15. I'm so glad that you write. I followed for you quite a while before I started my blog, and even though I never left comments, I was always so relieved by your posts. Even something as simple as a zoo trip or one of your dipshit moments made me feel better, because it made me feel like if you could laugh and find humor in autism then it must not be the end of the world. Thanks for that.


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