Gratitude on Thanksgiving
There are always many ways to look at any situation. For instance, when you first fell in love, your partner had all of the same flaws that he or she has today. Yet you overlooked them because they were barely visible through your rose-colored glasses.
When times got tough and you went through a rough patch in your marriage, your spouse did as your mud-colored glasses magnified all of his or her faults.
What's true is that you will find what you are looking for and it's not really what happens to us that makes us happy or sad, it's how we view what's happening that counts.
I bring this up because the food-centered holiday season, with Thanksgiving topping the list, can be a challenge when your child has life-threatening food allergies. It's very easy to let the stress get to you and for you to feel ungrateful. I'm not against a good pity party now and then but I have to admit that back in the day, I let my son's food allergies really get me down over the holidays. However, over the years, I have learned that there are many ways to deal with food in these situations and the joy of the holiday need not be affected.
Sometimes, we allergy moms get huffy because people do not "get" food allergies. One of the reasons they do not is because our kids look so healthy (and cute!). Here is a perfect example of looking at the bright side. How lucky we are that other parents don't look at our kids with pity or, worse yet, look away. How fortunate that we don't have to explain to other little kids who may point or laugh.
Next, we stress over the food preparation. Yes, yes, it's lots of work and many times we have to do it ourselves, but honestly, don't you eat a little healthier now that you do not (okay, cannot) buy all of that processed food? And wouldn't you rather do a little more work behind the scenes to make sure that your child is safely fed?
And when you begin to prepare meals that are completely free of, for example, milk, wheat, egg, peanut and tree nut, like I do, you start to realize that even though the food is not really Emeril Lagosse quality, no one seems to notice! They're still eating, and laughing and drinking wine and playing games. It's like when the Grinch stole Christmas, he never really did because Christmas wasn't about the gifts anyway. It was about the people. And years and years from now, it's unlikely that our kids will ever remember the gluten-free pie crust that fell apart or the dairy-free mashed potatoes that served up like Play-Doh. It will not be the food that they'll remember at all. It will be the friends, the family, the games, the laughing, and the love. And that is truly something for which we all should be grateful.
Looking for Allergy-Free Dinner ideas? Look here:
Published On: November 19, 2008