As a mama, I am forever greatful for us finding out what was causing my daughter's stomach aches and pain. But, going gluten free, does the real pain ever go away? The pain of not being the same as every one else? Food is what our society revolves around and when you are limited, it is hard. Just plain hard. And for a child, even harder. We have always made sure that she feels the "same" as others, by always bringing her own goodies to parties, and friend's homes, but what about those times when you don't have your own snacks? You have to sit there and painfully watch all the other children enjoy a snack and drink that you cannot have. As an adult, we can take this a little easier, but a child? It is so hard for them. This has been a harder holiday than others so far. I am not sure why. I think it has a little something to do with the fact that my daughter is getting a little bigger and making her own decisions. She knows how she feels when she gets "glutened" so she is very picky about what she has. Always asking the questions: Is this product gluten free?
Was it manufactured on equipment that processes wheat?
What about in a facility that processes wheat?
These are the questions she asks when she eats something someone else is offering her. The hot chocolate is really tempting her this holiday season. We went to a walk through nativity recently and afterwards they had hot chocolate and cookies. The cookies don't seem to bother her as much, but we were cold, and she wanted something warm. The hot chocolate was in big serving containers with no boxes around to show us the ingredients. So, she passed.
Then again, last night, at church. She was with her age friends and they were watching a movie, eating holiday Christmas cakes and drinking hot chocolate. She said, "Everyone was eating and drinking and I just had to sit there and watch them." The hot chocolate smelled so good to her and she once again passed, not knowing what brand it was.
This pains me as a mom. I understand this is just something she will have to deal with for the rest of her life, and we are teaching her to learn how to cope with this, but I want her to feel included and not so left out among her friends.
Please don't ignore these feeling from your children. They are real. They really hurt with this disease. It is hard for them. So when they come to you upset about feeling left out in an eating situation, be sensitive to this. Don't blow them off. In the situations above, we came home and had hot chocolate and cookies. No, it's not the same, but it gives us a chance to have foods that friends were having and talk about it.