Any mom who'd let her kid chow down like that is a winner in my book. Especially when I'm the kid and the book is real life. This Mother's Day I want to give a shout out to my biggest supporter during my g-ful to g-free adventure. Not to mention she's just about the kindest, happiest, smartest lady I know. And I'm her offspring! How cool is that?
But seriously, if it weren't for my mom cheering me on, I'm not sure how well I'd be surviving being g-free today. Before diagnosis, she never judged and always listened while I was going through those miserable months of unknown illness, mental unrest, and just downright weirdness.
Once diagnosed, you can understand her alarm. I can't imagine it's easy for a mother to hear that her child has an irreversible, incurable disease that could lead to worse diseases if treated improperly. Oh, not to mention it's genetic, so there's a chance the rest of the family is at risk, too. Good luck ever trying to cook the same meals for her again, too because now everything has changed. Welcome to Whole Foods.
That's not exactly something to brag about.
But I should have known that the woman who went above and beyond each year just to make sure I could successfully pull off every Halloween costume (see left - a personal fave) wouldn't take that same approach to dietary dress-up. My mom handled my diagnosis with such enormous grace and love that my transition to g-freedom was actually bearable.
She started with the basics. Like the great educator that she is, she did her homework and tried to learn everything she could about malfunctioning insides like mine.
Then there were those random purchases at Whole Foods that every celiac/celiac family has to go through when first diagnosed - No more regular cupcakes?! I must buy every kind of flavor available to ensure some sense of normalcy even though I never eat cupcakes on a regular basis! - She bought me so many g-free replacements of my favorite things and actually tried them with me. I think we can all say that's pretty big for g-eaters new to a g-free world.
Then came her kitchen. Defiant in her motherhood, she refused to give up her instinctual necessity to be able to feed me. So she bought a whole new set of pots and pans. And new plates. And new silverware. And new utensils. And a new colander. And new tupperware. She bought new everything to use only on days when I eat dinner at my parents' house. She even bought two new giant tubs to store them in so the "Lauren only" cookware would be safe from g-crumbs gone awry. I nearly cried - no, I did cry - the first time I ate a meal made by my mom after being diagnosed. I was safe!
She also rearranged her cupboard and has a designated g-free shelf just for me. Not to mention, there is always a box of Nut Thins waiting for me each time I come over.
And for my apartment, she helped fund the overhaul of my contaminated kitchen. I had to get new everything, too, and my new (matching) pots and pans wouldn't have been possible if she hadn't contributed that first week after my diagnosis while I was wading through hellish kitchen waters.
But even beyond all of this, my mom has been my buddy through all this g-crap. She's let me angrily rant to her. She's cried with me when I've been sad and frustrated. She's cried for me when something like a crouton ruins my vibe. She's introduced me to awesome g-free finds (like Pilsbury's g-free cookie dough). She's strategized with me about how to handle first dates and formal dinners. And she's let me be me, gluten-ful or gluten-free - to her it doesn't matter.
Now, that is something to brag about.
So yeah, she's not like a regular mom. She's a cool mom.
Happy Mother's Day, Mom. I love you!