So I talked about the 1 in 5 seen in Woodley Park over the weekend. And I mentioned our dinner out at the pizza place on Friday evening. But I didn't get a chance to talk about just how coincidental that dinner actually was.
When we walked in, we were greeted and shown to a table right away. There were one or two empty tables left, but the street was beginning to fill up, and I knew that the dinner hour would change everything momentarily. We sat down, and I looked around, noticing, at the table behind us, a young man with Down syndrome. He was wearing a baseball hat and having dinner with a woman I assumed to be his mother. The table next to us, nestled into the window bay and bordered, for seating, by a red pleather couch, held a family of 4 - mother, father, son, daughter. I noticed the daughter also had Down syndrome, and I smiled.
As we waited for our food, Samantha began to get antsy, needing some entertainment to keep her occupied. My mother opened up her bag of tricks and pulled out a toy, which seemed to work for a while. Growing bored, Sammi tossed it from the table, where it landed beside the young man in the hat. His mother reached down, picked it up, smiled at Samantha, and handed it back. Of course we dropped the toy back into Gramma's bag to prevent a repeat performance.
Waiting more, Samantha decided she would join the family in the bay window by hurling herself over the couch and into the laps of the two children. Ugh. Apologizing, I hauled her back out, losing one of her shoes under their table in the process. They were very gracious, amused, laughing and handing back the shoe, stating that she was welcome to join them. Two more times I hauled my wriggling, protesting child back over the couch.
Dinner came, and all of the tables in the small restaurant were full, including the outdoor seating on the patio. A line began to form beyond the door. Just then, a woman who had been outside, came in and approached us, introducing herself as my blog friend, Kelli, from Living Life with the E's! There with her husband, minus the children (awww, I could really would have loved giving sweet Emily a big squeeze!!), we had seen each other briefly earlier that afternoon in the Blogger's Sharing Session, although a lack of time (and a cranky child of mine) had prevented any more formal introduction then.
After dinner, Samantha left with my mother in a taxi to head back to my mom's house over the river while I went back to the hotel to wander around by myself for a few more hours. I received a text from one of my Facebook friends that I'd been trying to connect with, and we met up for coffee. Having not met before in person, I didn't really know what she looked like, though through conversation we discovered that she was actually the one who handed Sammi's toy back in the restaurant! I can guarantee that if her son had not been wearing the baseball hat, I would have recognized them then and there, but his disguise had me fooled...
A few hours later I received a message on Facebook from someone saying, "It was nice to "meet" you informally at dinner tonight!" You talkin' to me? I was pretty sure she had messaged the wrong person. Really. I looked at her Facebook profile and realized that she was at the table in the bay window with her family!
Over the last few years I've learned repeatedly just how small the world is, but this was a sweet reminder, among so many others, of just how lucky we are that that's the case. I shudder to think what our lives might be like without the internet, applaud those that had come before, and thank my lucky stars that we don't have to forge ahead that way, plodding through phone listings, books or snail mail to stay connected to the world.