I love birthdays. I love the fact that birthdays are your day to celebrate yourself. Yes, you share the day with thousands of other people worldwide but in your family, friend group, classes, whatever, chances are you are the only one who can say that you were born on that day. I think that’s awesome. Why not take the time to embrace and celebrate everything that you are? I know a lot of people, especially in the age demographic that I recently entered, are not so keen in talking about their birthdays let alone celebrating them. But in my house, it’s a big thing. I love my wife’s birthday as she spends so much of her time and effort making sure that we are taken care of that she should be celebrated every day. I love my kids’ birthdays as those two days are reminders of two of the best days in my life (ranking right behind my wedding, of course).
So, why should Celiac’s change celebrations? Why should an unwanted guest spoil our party? My son was invited to a birthday party just a few days ago and there was going to be pizza and cake and video games; a regular diet following,12-year old’s version of Utopia. Well, Cam of course has to worry about two of those three elements (thank goodness video games aren’t an issue or he’d be bored to tears). Did this affect our RSVP decision? Of course not. We said “yes” as soon as we could. It’s a birthday, we celebrate!
Now, of course the decision was not that easy. Cross-contamination, eating the wrong thing and feelings of “not wanting to be left out” all are concerns. But we had many things going for us that helped the decision process. 1). We had a host that understood the seriousness of Cam’s situation. She sent an e-mail to us personally asking if there were any GF foods or pizza that we preferred, what she could serve in lieu of cake, etc. We had Cam take his own pizza and some Udi’s double chocolate chip muffins but the thought that she had our son’s safety in mind gave us reassurance. 2). Cam gets it. HIs maturity beyond his years is making this life-changing transition so much easier. He understands what he can and can not eat and he is ok with it. It’s such a relief to his mom and I that he has this level of responsibility. 3). Saying “no” would have resulted in him missing out on something fun due to a stupid “disease”. Do we let Celiac’s win this one…no. It does not control us, we control it.
So, we helped a friend celebrate another trip around the sun and used our education and understanding to make the best of the situation presented to us. Next up is my wife’s birthday. Will we celebrate…absolutely! Will she let me get into her combination rice flours, xantham, tapioca, etc. that she has meticulously maintained for a GF kitchen to make her a birthday cake? Well, maybe next trip.