Monday 18 February 2019

Celiacs is a Family Disease

Look at this perfect family sitting around eating bread. Did that mom put on a blouse for dinner?
 FUUUUUCK THAT. This is NOT my family on Family Day...we are better.

Today in my home province of Alberta, is family day. Family day is mostly seen as a free stat during which, no one really spends time with their family. Well, those perfect parents will post those perfect Facebook pictures of their perfect children in perfect matching outfits with their perfect adults' perfectly whitened smiles as they take a perfect snowy walk.....just perfect. Their kids don't fight, never get too much screen time, and never loose a sock in the laundry.

Side note: My husband has been complaining about his fourteen lost pairs of black socks for weeks now.

Double side note: My sister and I were dressed in the exact same clothes for years (she, all in yellow and I all in pink) and I can tell you, it's traumatizing. So random Facebook lady with the two girls dressed in identical themed outfits, knock it off. It makes them look like Children of The Corn and gives other people the willies. Stop now.

My husband and I don't nail this parenting job all the time, but the one day we do, is family day.

We fucking OWN family day bitches.

The husband and I have taken this day for OUR family, the rest of you get out of our way. Our relationship with Family Day started years ago, when I was 20 weeks pregnant with our second and we were told we would lose her. What followed was our lives being tossed upside down and inside out. The next five months were steeped in terror and chaos as each moment of that pregnancy was touch and go. Each day was a prayer and a baby growing against the odds, the doctors, and the many shitty catastrophic pamphlets they forced us to read. It was a brutally difficult time on our little family and the broods of support people around us until our little tiny miracle girl screamed into this world, as perfect as perfect can be.

By all accounts, the day you plan a funeral for your unborn baby should be a traumatic day to remember, but the baby daddy and I were determined to change the narrative of this day. It would not be remembered with fear, it would be a day to celebrate the family it forced us to become.  If it wasn't for that Family Day 13 years ago, we would be a very different family. Don't get me wrong, we would still be fucking awesome, but I don't think we would appreciate each other or trust each other as much as we do.

 So today, there are no phones, no people over, no going out. Just us Lyon's people together, doing fun shit all day and being grateful for each other. I will force each member of my family to say thank you to each other for one specific thing and to say one thing you appreciate about the other members of this family. Past years determine that they will hate this activity, I don't give a shit.

My thank you is usually based around my Celiacs and contrary to my normal way of speaking, I will keep it brief. I'm aware that I suck up a great deal of the talking room at any given moment of the day, I know that I don't shut up enough, I know I don't listen enough, (right here is the big test to see if the husband reads this blog because he will LOVE that shit - like, he will put that quote on my gravestone).

During our Family Day gratitude time, I try very hard to stay extra quiet and hear my family and remember each and every bit of their wonderfulness.

Make no mistake, Celiacs is a family disease, one that my family has been struggling with for 8 years. REMEMBER FOLKS, I WAS DIAGNOSED WHEN MY SPAWN WERE 4 AND 6 and they have weathered this disease far better than I have and they aren't even allowed to swear like I am.

If I had all the time I wanted to thank my family this family day, this is what I would say:

Thank you for your patience with my Celiacs.

Thank you for not being the centre of attention in every single restaurant.

Thank you for not being angry when the server forgets something you asked for because they were so focused on making my food safe. The amount of times your ketchup has been forgotten without complaint is shocking.

Thank you for leaving restaurants when I can't eat there, even though I knew you were starving and really wanted their food.

Thank you for washing your hands, all the time, everyday, because you had gluten six hours ago.

Thank you for resetting every restaurant table so that your bread plate is no where near my plate.

Thank you for brushing your teeth after eating gluten.

Thank you for being SO careful with your gluten food in our kitchen, My children have been sanitizing our counters for 7 years, that's like half their life.

Thank you for going to vacation resorts that Celiacs can eat at and because of that, we have to spend more money and because of that, we can only go every second year.

Thank you for being my eyes and years at every party we have ever been to. You are my soldiers of cross contamination.

Thank you for not complaining that we can't go to a LOT of the restaurants that your friends go to with their families.

Thank you for taking care of me when I get glutened and making it so easy for me to lay in bed and not take care of any of you.

Thank you for not crying when I am crying in the pain of a gluten poison, I couldn't stand it if you did.

Thank you for being as frustrated as I am when I get poisoned and thank you for being zen about it too.

Thank you for eating gluten free tortillas and pancakes and waffles and breads and cookies even though you don't need gluten free and it doesn't always taste good.

Thank you for lying to me when baking experiments don't work out. You are terrible liars but I appreciate your attempt.

Thank you for saving my gluten free cereal for me alone.

Celiacs is a family disease and my mommy guilt for that is a thick calloused layer that pushes on my heart every day, all day.

 Today though, I get to ease that guilt a little and tell my family how grateful I am this, and every day that we are as tough and loving a family as we are. If we hadn't that horrible family day all those years ago, we would not be able to handle my Celiacs as well as we do, so everything happens for a reason, especially on Family Day. So go and thank your family for being who they are, thank them for dealing with your Celiacs, because your disease is their disease.

Happy Family Day to you and Your Family.

This Freaking Celiac, her husband (partner in crime and baby daddy), and their spawn who will never wear matching outfits but are perfect anyway.

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