Birthdays and holidays are sometimes more painful than joyous. They may be difficult for a range of reasons.
Life’s celebrations can tend to make us reflect on what could or should have been. Life was SUPPOSED to be a certain way. When our perfect Hallmark moment does not go according to plan we feel cheated. Our dreams have been stolen from us.
Desperately we want birthdays and holidays to be fun filled happy days, but realistically our heart is filled with sadness. It’s hard to celebrate if you see no joy in your child’s face or recognition that a celebration is going on. It’s incredibly depressing having a child who seems oblivious to the excitement swirling around them.
Having a child on a specialized diet during these times is not much fun either. It’s hard to relax and enjoy the moment if you are constantly standing guard or running around playing food cop. The worry of them getting into “no no” foods is tiring. We want so much for our child to be eating and doing everything like everybody else.
Thoughts of self inflicted exile drift through the brain. Isolation seems more welcoming and pain free than dealing with parties, school events, get togethers, etc. Making excuses and hovering like a vulture loses its appeal rather quickly.
Our thoughts eventually drift back to the real world. We plaster a smile on our face and pretend we are having a grand old time even though we are crying on the inside. We long for the ability to celebrate a holiday or birthday like “everyone” else. To carry on family traditions we participated in as children.
Woe is me is kicked into high gear. The shiny red birthday balloon swaying in the wind has popped unexpectedly, falling to the ground, only to be trampled on by a herd of wild elephants.
That red balloon is your heart.
I remember when Annie was scared to death of any new toy she received for Christmas or her birthday. She refused to open them and would gather them all up, shove them in her toy box and slam the lid shut. If we even suggested she try playing with a new toy, she would muster up all her energy to yell, “no!”, one of the only words in her vocabulary at that time. It brought tears to my eyes and all I wanted to do was kick everyone out of my house and go to bed.
The hardest thing for me at the holidays is dealing with Brody’s food obsession. At one time, Brody was gluten/casein free as well as on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) which meant at every social function, I was a slave to the kitchen… soaking beans, making bone broth, and cooking, cooking, and cooking some more. Everything was cooked from scratch. You may ask why I subjected myself to this and the answer is plain and simple… with all this effort came a healed gut, language, and lots more awareness of the world around him. That being said, after all my effort “Mr. Sneaky Pants” would always manage to steal something off someone’s plate, or eat food off the floor. Weeks of effort and preparation went out the window – the diarrhea would be back!