Free Food…Everywhere

This was an addition from Bonanza and The Hot Dog Man

Gene’s reaction to making Mark happy seemed to be common with mostly everyone in our town. It made them feel good to give Mark free food. When we went anywhere, Mark was running on his hyperactive 150 volts. I have to admit he’d readily slow down to eat something. When we realized this pattern, we would approach all small storeowners, hot dog stands, and food kiosks, introduce Mark and ask them not to give him free food.

Invariably, he would round the bleachers at any little league game with a juicy hot dog and a free soda. Why did people do this? Especially, because Mark was supposed to be playing baseball – in right field and he’d be getting free food at he snack shack! Mark is 18 this year, and just last month Steve took him into a café for lunch. Steve went to the men’s room. When he returned, Mark was sipping on a bottle of beer! Steve asked the bartender if Mark had paid for the beer to which the bartender nodded affirmative, Steve was so stunned he failed to ask if he had checked Mark’s age.

In disbelief we filed this under “free stuff.” Once in Santa Cruz, a restaurant owner offered our whole family a free round of beverages. We knew this was because we had Mark with us. Did they think free food and drinks would be a consolation prize for having a special needs child? Well, they were right about that. Who would say no to a few perks?

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About Carmella Miller

I live in Nevada City, CA with my husband Steve. I am a retired 7th and 8th grade English, Art and Drama teacher. I thought it would be fun to share the"Markie Stories" featuring our son Mark Miller, age 24. When a parent hears they have a special needs child, grieving and isolation often follow. Maybe because we finally "got" Mark raised up, that, now we see how funny it was at times. And we definitely know how how proud we are of him and ourselves.
This entry was posted in Down Syndrome Help, Food Issues, Raising Down syndrome Boy and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Free Food…Everywhere

  1. carishepard says:

    Sounds like Mark and Nick would get along well. Nick often hears, “Slow down, speak English.” He’s 16 (turns 17 in August).

    • Too funny, why does Nick often hear that? Mark used to tell that to people left and right, it took some time to teach him how and when to say it. To this day (he is 24) he tells Ryan to “speak English.”

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