This is not a baking post. Sorry. Move along to my Blogroll if you need a good baking fix or just check my recipe file above. It’s impressive. But then again, that’s my own opinion and I have a fairly healthy dose of self-esteem—apparently so does my son. That’s him there…he’s a bit of a nut job on a good day (both my husband and I are definitely to blame for this).
I’ve lain awake most nights this week. Thinking. It’s utterly paralyzing when you are supposed to be sleeping. Any insomniacs in the crowd out there? I’ve had this good hunch that most bloggers are insomniacs. After all, when on earth do we have time to do all this writing, baking, reading, and commenting when we have real lives going on in the real world, with jobs, mortgages, spouses and such?
I’ve actually had friends and acquaintances ask, “When on EARTH do you have the time to BAKE?! or BLOG?! I am SO BUSY!” Yeah, lady, I’m not busy; two teenagers, one hubby, one dog, a job, laundry and a house that always seems to need cleaning…I wouldn’t know what that’s like. Perhaps it’s when I am awake at 2, 3 or 5 am? It’s better than watching the awful stuff on TV at that hour or ordering the “Space Bag“. Sorry, I digressed, can you tell I have alot of pent up hostility on that subject?
Weird things have happened in the last year. Small, tackle-able things that I can handle one by one or maybe even in two’s or three’s but in tens, that’s a bit rough. Weird things have happened since I was in my early twenties. I am more than grateful to my parents that real life waited until childhood was long gone. THANK YOU Mom and Dad!
I once, guiltily, told a therapist that there are a lot of people who have it a lot worse than I did at the time. Then, I was supporting someone through debilitating depression. It was the first year of mommyhood and I had already conquered death-grip inspiring colic in my baby (severe fits of screaming and food allergies in newborns), my own postpartum depression when I realized that my baby was ill and that I may never sleep more than 15 minutes at a time ever again, and was trying to make sense of why that year was so hard. Do you know what my therapist said that made me feel light-years better? “A lot of people have it a lot better too.” Simple and to the point. It worked.
I’m not saying that anyone should jump on the “poor me” bandwagon at any given minute because honestly you don’t really get anywhere with that. If you did, I would have really tried to ride that train a long time ago. I am saying that we all deserve some personal pity parties, short-lived, and hopefully constructive. Ones that end in a determination to make things better, help us toughen up and make the best of a bad situation.
My babies are both fairly grown now, and I am the luckiest mom in the world because they are happy, smart, kind, and mostly healthy. I made it through colic, thought I never, ever would and would never, ever have another baby. But I did and Thank God for that. Both my kids bring me the greatest joys I could never have imagined before parenting. But they have also caused me my early grays, a few too many wrinkles and much chocolate bingeing.
And now, here we are at another hurdle or hiccup. It’s kind of like the feeling of the last hurdle in a long race (let’s hope it’s the last hurdle for awhile…I am very tired). Those of you who have been reading this year know we have put up with termites (no big deal unless you are a pesticide-o-phobe like moi and basically move everything possible out of the house for safety), two separate floods on the same wood floor, one torn hip muscle on Christmas Day (hubby, not me) and now we are working through an almost certain diagnosis of Celiac (gluten allergy) for my seventeen-year-old son. The one in the orange suit above if you missed it.
He is the pickiest eater I have EVER encountered.This should be interesting. I am reading, recipe searching ordering crazy ingredients like “tapioca starch, xanthan gum, gluten free baking powder (who knew it had gluten to begin with?), gluten free chocolate chips (a must!)” and books like Artisanal Gluten Free Cupcakes (yes I did order that). I am trying to picture him going to college, eating at a cafeteria, going to parties, avoiding pizza. Holy sh@@!
I know how lucky we are to live in a hyper sensitive gluten free world. Trust me, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the internet and for living in L.A. where everyone is sure they are gluten sensitive so bakeries and restaurant offerings are popping up all over. I am the most grateful that he has something fixable. I am so lucky. I do know. See a pattern here? I am fairly good at trying to rationalize. I always do come through the other side of the pity party. But it’s not usually an easy ride, and it’s rarely ever planned. I call it accidental toughness. I’m actually kind of a wimp in my planned life.
That being said, it’s just hard to picture your child suffering in any way, shape or form. It’s innate. We are supposed to bristle at their cries, ache when they ache and lie awake at night awaiting the noises of their car pulling into the drive.
He is tough as nails though, like his dad. When an IV was being put in his arm yesterday, I massaged his shoulder, trying to relax him. He looked at me and said, “I’ve given blood a ton of times…this is no big deal.” The nurse was surprised. He’s only 17.
“How many times have you given blood?”, she asked. He started to count…”Several times at high school…alot,” he replied. She looked impressed. I was proud. I swallowed hard and fought back my tears.
After the procedure was over, and he was coming to from the anesthesia…he was cracking jokes. It turns out the nurse had a sixteen-year-old daughter. I could see the wheels spinning in his head; that hormone surged, girl crazed head of his. I knew he was thinking how he could work this whole crazy crap in his favor…get something good out of it. I happened to ask the nurse if her daughter was boy crazy. She said, “Thankfully not.”
I smiled. I know this whole gluten free nightmare is going to be such fun…for him and me. I am pretty damn sure, though, he has the accidental toughness gene and that he is going to be just fine.