Friday, July 10, 2015


I have a friend who did some food eliminations to figure out why their family was experiencing recurring health issues (tummy aches, infections, etc.). I thought at the time, that's a lot of work.

So for someone like me, who hates following directions and ambiguous searching, hearing our diagnosis was good. Because I had parameters and purpose. I knew what had to be done, why it had to be done, how it had to be done. No multi-step directions, just this: get rid of gluten.


It's not a fad diet for us. It's health for my children.

It's about gluten is a poison to my kid. It's about her wanting to live a long, healthy life. It's about knowing she has a place where she fits (with us!).

I know the eye-rollers. They are annoyed by our being homeschoolers, innies, Christians, and, now, gluten-free.

"Just buy some gluten-free pancake mix and get over it. What's the big deal?"

I know those people.

"So what that you can't run into (nearly any fast-food place). It's not like __________ (your kid has cancer or other horrible disease; you're a single parent; you're caring for a dying spouse; you don't have a job; you're about to lose your house)."

It's not about who has the worst story. (Of course, there are worse stories!)

It's about our story.

had not showered in two days, no make-up, ran into 2 friends from co-op looking like this; #notashamed

It's about packing up a kitchen; scrutinizing labels of new products every time; comforting a child because she can't have her favorite cereal EVER AGAIN; wincing as well-meaning friends bring candies and say, "Oh, you can't have this."; saying goodbye to favorites and knowing they're off limits--not even for just-a-bite.

It's about parties and sleepovers that look different because my kids can't have grilled cheese, pizza, or cake with everyone else; road trips that have to be researched for safe restaurants; worry over cross-contamination; being hungry at a snack-bar because there's nothing safe to eat and we didn't pack something; and people who don't want to be bothered with our difference because it's too much work.

It's about dealing with holiday parties and gatherings and notifying every parent the kids come in contact with that this is us and here's a special treat you can give them; always being the different one; people who don't understand and think you're weird or dramatic or making it up or part of a fad.

It's about a peripheral knowledge of cancer and infertility and miscarriage and other stuff too.

It's also about reinforcing a home's mantra of WELCOME-SAFE-LOVED-INCLUDED. About showing support when one of us is down. About being safe for food and comfort and not being excluded for being different, but embraced for being oneself.

Welcome. Safe. Loved. Included.

It's about pushing through obstacles until the obstacles don't seem so big, or we're stronger because of it. It's about navigating friendships and eye-rollers and losing friends who can't deal. It's about finding new recipes and relearning cooking with my kids and teaching them they can do this. It's about fighting for ourselves, even if we feel alone.

It's not about pancake mix.

It's not about who has the worst story.

It's just about this story, this family, this race.

For me this week, the gamut: gratitude, preoccupation, worry, researching, planning, overwhelm, cleaning, shopping, packing, friends, encouragement, kids' tears, questions, processing, prioritizing, cutting grass, laundry, showering, shopping, books in the mail, emails, texts, phone calls, forgetting, remembering, dog hair, annoyance, mosquito bites, coffee, falling asleep on the couch during Fixer Upper, new foods, meal planning, faith, sharpening pencils, grocery lists, growing peace, family, and, and, and.

Thanks for reading.

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