Last night to celebrate New Year's Eve, J and I went out for dinner before heading to a party. My mother graciously agreed to let Allison spend the night at her house so we could go out.
While at dinner there was another family just like ours sitting a few tables away. There was a mom, a dad, and a little girl who was probably around 4 or 5 years old. She was surrounded with stuffed animals and other little girl accessories that she had brought to entertain herself with. We occasionally could hear little tid bits of her conversation with her parents. She was well-behaved for the most part with a few little stints of being out of her chair and being reminded of her manners, etc.
As we were eating I was watching their family from afar and sort of imagining what life could have been like for us if things were different. For the most part, we don't take Allison out to eat with us. We used to and my desire was to continue to do so. She just has seemed to get more and more difficult in public at restaurants over the past few years. She no longer fits in high chairs, but booster seats don't have straps and/or are too small for her. She doesn't want to stay sitting in a chair or booth and having her on my lap is dysfunctional. In addition, she has no patience when she's hungry and just can not stand having to wait for her food.
For a brief moment last night I imagined what it would be like if Allison could be out to dinner with us like the other little girl with her family- if she could sit in her chair, feed herself, and entertain us with her conversation. Her parents looked a little bored and like they maybe couldn't get a sitter.
How ironic is it that they were probably wishing they could be out alone on a date like we were and we were wishing that we could have our little girl with us carrying on and disrupting our dinner out.