Over the past month, with the start of school for both of our kids, we’ve been busy with curriculum nights, school meetings, and several other types of community events. It seems like during this first month of school, we have had something going almost every night of the week. This can be both a good thing and a bad thing. Let’s get the bad out of the way first, since it’s quite obvious. Having something every night of the week is very taxing. Juggling who takes who where, determining what we’re having for dinner let alone when we have the time to sit down and eat it, etc. can lead to one looking at the calendar and saying “Where did that month go?”. And we only have 2 kids! How did the Brady’s do it?!?
But we manage to find a way to make things work which leads to the good part of having such a busy schedule. Attending all of these activities, especially those related to the beginning of the school year, allows us to reconnect with people that we may not have seen for three to four months, if not longer. This is especially the case when we go to activities related to Cam’s school. These are parents there that, in some cases, we have now known for nine years. We’ve watched their kids grow up right alongside Cam and even if we’re not the closest of friends with them, they are familiar faces in the crowd. They are people that I would trust if my son (or my daughter with her friend’s parents) needed to interact with them. Like most people, I’m more comfortable in a situation when I am surrounded by things familiar to me. It’s that internal fear of the unknown that, when removed, allows us to relax and be ourselves. Seeing these faces, smiling at us when we enter a room, brings me a sense of comfort. I’ve never been one to shy away from meeting and speaking with a stranger but, admittedly, it’s that much easier when you know the person.
There lies the challenge when you are part of the Twitterverse. You communicate with others but are you truly ever comfortable? We are blessed to have so many followers of our Celiac Teen Dad blog on both Twitter and through WordPress. We are part of a worldwide community that is helping to raise awareness for celiac kids and the gluten-free lifestyle. It shows how small the world has become through the introduction of new technologies when some of the people that we speak with and consider our good acquaintances are people that we have not even met face to face. But, thanks to a few special ladies in the gluten-free community, some of these barriers have been removed. The event was a gluten-free fair in our region and these voices of 140 characters or less became familiar faces to me. When I met Pam (I’m a Celiac), Jen (GGF Gourmet), Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) and Lauren (EpiFamily) in person, it was as if I was attending a family reunion. They welcomed me with open arms (literally) to the event and as a part of their community. They took down any uncertainty that I had built up and put a sense of comfort and confidence in its place. More importantly, they asked about Cam. They wanted to know how he was doing and if he was going to be coming to the event that we were all attending. Unfortunately, he was not and in hindsight, I wished that he had been there. For these wonderful ladies are a part of his community now, too. They are the advocates that understand what he is going through and people that I would trust for him to ask any questions of if needed. They, along with so many others that I have been lucky enough to meet within the gluten-free circles, are the new familiar faces for us in this journey. And that brings me nothing but comfort.