I was working from home a couple of weeks ago, when my kids were on holiday break. Since I normally do not have lunch with them, I thought it would be nice to take them out and do some bonding. Hey, time is flying and any opportunity I can get to spend time with them, I’m going to take. Now, as many of you who have Celiac’s or have a Celiac child knows, eating out is a challenge. We decided to go to a restaurant chain that we had gone to in the past and had success in them understanding Cam’s special eating circumstances. One thing we noticed immediately was the difference at this location in how the staff preparing the food reacted when Cam identified himself as a Celiac. But, some of the same precautions were taken so we didn’t think anything more of it. In hindsight, this is where we were wrong. Now, I’m not going to call out the name of the restaurant in this blog post but I have contacted the branch ownership and expressed my concerns.
That evening, Cam had his issues and as a Dad, I was upset with many things, including myself. But in these situations, who is too blame? Absolutely I blame the restaurant location that we went to but do I blame the individual workers? Since we have had good experiences at other locations, I know that the policy is in place so was it a branch manager who didn’t educate their worker or the worker not paying attention to our needs that I blame. Do I blame myself for creating the situation and taking the “easy way out” but going to a restaurant and not preparing a gluten-free meal at home where I know the conditions are safe? Do I blame myself for now causing this “bad memory” for my son which may deter him from eating at this restaurant ever again? Probably not but when his buddies get together and decide to go grab a bite to eat from this place, will he hesitate?
The answer is that I could easily blame everyone but instead choose to blame no one. The guilt of putting him in this situation is one that I need to deal with and one that will come up numerous additional times. That’s on me. As role models, my wife and I will need to keep a positive attitude in these situations and roll with it in support of our son. Because, really, the blame is on Celiac’s and the only thing we can do for the time being is what we already are.