In 2013, on my son's birthday, my husband and I took our beautiful baby boy to a restaurant to get Mac and Cheese, and some vanilla ice cream for dessert. After about an hour wait for seating, we headed to our table to finally get some good food for our birthday boy.
For some reason, after about 15 minutes of us sitting at a table, a manager approaches us and states that the other guests in the dining area feel uncomfortable and it would be best if we would leave.
Turns out the guests didn't like the way that my son stimmed. At the time he loved cars and would hold two in one hand and start moving his hand in a zigzag motion by his eyes. Because he was excited about mac and cheese, he would make some noises to let us know he was happy, but like the manager said, the other guests were uncomfortable so we had to leave. At first, I got so embarrassed. I apologized to the waiter and started grabbing all of our things. My husband was so mad, and to be honest the closer we go to the exit door the more mad I got that I even apologized. We were in a dinner establishment as a guest, and within seconds we were treated like a second class citizen and forced to leave, all because my son was "different". It bothered me for a long time. We stopped eating out and we felt on guard everywhere we went. No one was going to do that to our baby again.
In 2014, after Henry and I got our culinary degrees, we made it our priority to do something special in the hospitality industry that would change dinner experiences for families like ours. We were so hurt and bothered by what the industry had done to us, that we had to make sure that would never happen to anyone else. So the concept of THYME and play was created.
THYME and play is our way of changing the restaurant industry from the inside. It is our dream to see this concept spread. Disability awareness is always a priority, but disability acceptance is at the core of what we do. Whether the person has an invisible disability, or a physical impairment, every body deserves a night to be wined and dined, especially children!
Dr. Seuss said it best, "WHY FIT IN WHEN YOU WERE BORN TO STAND OUT". Families like ours should have places to go to that are safe. We deserve the right to a good time, and I think it goes without saying... that you deserve a great time too.
We are so excited to share our story with you. If you have already attended a THYME and play event, we just want to say THANK YOU. Thank you for believing in us! Thank you for bringing your family into our lives.
And for those of you who may not have been able to attend an event. Don't worry! We are planning more events and it would be our privilege to serve you and your loved ones. You are the reason why THYME and Play exists.
I know I am not the best at blogging, and there are probably more errors in this one page then actual sentences... lol. But I believe in what we are doing as a company and what we are doing for our community. THYME and play isn't just another organization. We are here because disability acceptance is what we fight for everyday for our now 7 year old son. He was the reason we started this, but honestly you guys are the reason we continue moving forward. Without your support and encouragement we wouldn't have made it this far. Thank you guys a million times... Thank you!