I made plans for a friend's daughter to sleep over Tuesday night. Made the plans before we got the diagnosis, before I realized how unprepared we were, before we even had much time to process it (the diagnosis and lifestyle changes) and discuss it as a family. I thought it would be good for my girl to have her friend here, even though it was stressing me out because I had so much cramming to do to get ready.
It turned out to be a not great idea. I know her friend was trying to be helpful and compassionate, but the words all came out awkward and made my girl feel even worse--the frequent reminders of all the things she can't eat.
Once we dropped the friend home, I took the kids to the grocery store.
"Can we not walk past the bakery section anymore?" one asked.
There's a gluten-free department, and I headed us there. Cereals, breads, pizzas, crackers, flours, even ice cream cones. I was so happy for their happy. We did our regular shop and then also got some pretzels, two boxes of cereal, a flour blend. (I'm headed to another store tonight that I hear has better prices. Didn't want to max out all in one place.) When Shane got home, we showed him the things we got, and I opened the gf pretzels for all of us to take one and try it.
|I marked off stuff Shane can finish off|
|Yes, I really bought 25 pounds of rice.|
"They're good! They taste regular!" one daughter exclaimed.
What a sigh of relief.
Later last night, a friend pulled up with a bag of gluten-free goodies: mac n cheese, cookie mix, brownie mix, pasta, crackers.
"I wanted to get stuff your kids would love," she said. "The brownie mix is our favorite."
Reggie had texted me on an unrelated matter, and I told her we were going gluten-free. She wrote me this: "Recovering from Losses in Life. The Celiacs is a loss you'll all have to mourn."
I was so grateful for that, because I imagined the thoughts of so many other people who would tell me that it was stupid to be sad because we can't have Grotto Pizza at the beach anymore. Or Wegman's cupcakes on half birthdays.
I sat with the kids, and at separate times they both told me the losses they felt, the anger and frustration at friends and the situation and what-ifs, the fear that nothing would ever taste good.
"But those cheesy crackers were pretty good," I reminded one. "And maybe we could try out the brownie mix when Miss Linda comes on Friday?" (Just like Joy trying not to give Sadness room at the control panel. I finally shut up and listened and hugged.)
Yeah, even though this is manageable, it's an adjustment. Even though we'll all be healthier for it, there's still some sadness at what we can't have. Moving was kind of like that for me too. Moving on because we'd all be healthier for it. And you know what? We are. And we will be through this too. Because even though we leave some things behind (like an amazing kitchen island or rotisserie chicken prepared at a store's workspace shared with wheat), we move on to new things (like freedom and flour blends). And while there are things we can't have (which imprison us if we look at them too long), there is still so much we can have (freeing! Hello, ice cream and Hershey chocolate almond bars).
This is hope. And there is freedom.
I went through our pantry and pulled all the products with wheat, barley and rye. I bagged up our flours and washed the containers. I purged near empty packages of croutons. I scrutinized every sauce, broth, soup, and seasoning packet.
|Emptied containers once held flour|
Last night I went online and looked up Grotto Pizza. I looked at their menu. And-thank-you-God for the little things. They have gluten-free pizza. I couldn't wait to tell the kids this morning.
I made our go-to pancakes with a gluten-free flour substitution.
"They taste the same!" one exclaimed. They each had seconds.
Got a notice in my in-box that my cookbooks should arrive tomorrow.
Today: cutting the grass, reading with Erin, a swim, and just hanging out at home to be us. To regroup and reset.
Going to start a load of laundry, which seems so very the-same when our lives feel so very different.