With a number of birthday gatherings floating around, I thought it was about time I caught up on a post I promised before the inevitable hiatus announcement.
A few months ago, my brother turned 20 years old. TWENTY YEARS OLD!! How did that happen?
To be honest, it really is a miracle that we’ve stayed sane and together as a family for that long.
Why’s that?, I anticipate you asking.
Well, if you knew me in real life, you’d also know that Sam, my brother, has autism. He was diagnosed with autism when he was 4 years old and our family lifestyle and routines have never been quite ‘normal’ ever since.
I’m sure you don’t hide away scissors, knives and the stove lighter before you go to sleep. I’m also pretty certain that the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning is not a laptop being thrusted at your face with a demand for the password. Nor are 2 TVs and one portal DVD player constantly being played (all at once) in your household. These are just some of the realities we deal with on a regular basis because of my brother’s disabilities. Though there have been many challenges over the years, there has also been much joy and appreciation for the little things in life i.e. when Sam finishes a full sentence that made complete sense without any prompting :). Being a sibling to a person with special needs has also taught me to be patient with people, recognising that we all have our idiosyncrasies and to accept others just the way they are.
Anyway, my father was overseas on the night of my brother’s birthday so some of our new church family were adamant that they would take my mum, Sam and I out to commemorate the leaving of the teen years for my brother. Thankfully, we are also family friends with the owner of Sha Tin, a Chinese restaurant on our side of the woods so they were happy to save us from cooking on the night :).
Sam doesn’t actually eat much Chinese food (except plain rice with soya sauce) so he had polished off his Foccacia with Cheese aka ‘Cheese Pizza’ before the guests arrive with a pretty sweet platter:
We were really appreciative of how even though we’d only known these group of people for a few months, that they really put thought into what Sam would like and what he would eat!
We already had another cake prepared so happy birthday was sung and candles were blown out save the lone one that was just such a fighter:
With Sam satisfied and all hungry from their long trip to the East, we ordered:
This sizzling plate of Mongolian Beef is one of the chef’s specialties and it did not disappoint! I don’t know if it was because I was so hungry that night but I just lapped it up piece after succulent piece :D.
Spicy Salt and Pepper Squid was cooked to perfection! ♥ ♥ ♥
Singaporian fried noodles is a dish we sometimes get from Sha Tin on nights we feel too worn out to cook so it seemed appropriate that we had it again that night :). Just enough heat for flavour but not too much that it would overpower the other dishes that we had along side it…
Mmmm Honey Pepper Chicken… need I say more?
Sam (the cook) brought out some complimentary prawn cutlets at the end of the night to top off a great stress-free meal :).
So, if you are ever down our neck of the woods and want some no-fail Chinese food, Sha Tin can be found at:
131 Canterbury Road, Heathmont 3135
And you’d better be quick too because Sam is thinking about selling his business so I can’t vouch if the quality of the food will stay the same!
Thanks to our family friends for helping us commemorate Sam’s 20th birthday. We definitely felt the love and enjoyed sharing the momentous occasion with you :). And for those who’d like to learn some more about autism, you can check out Autism Victoria’s Amaze or for some modern insight into the life of a family with a special needs child, Young, Autistic & Stagestruck is currently showing on LifestyleYOU (I know it’s cable but I’m sure you computer whiz-types out there will be able to access it somehow!).