This Easter was our first Holiday post-diagnosis, and I was really nervous that it would put a focus on the fact that Kiddo is different. At the risk of repeating myself, it did occur to me that being the Easter Bunny, while allergic to eggs, to a kid who can't eat sugar or starch, was pretty hard! I probably should not have dyed the eggs (but I did, while breast feeding), and I really should not have made meringue cookies (but I did, between breastfeeding and bed time) and that didn't go too well.
I tried to make the cookies look like peeps, but it was pointed out to me that they looked more like poop. And the cook book said they would take an hour, so I put them in the ran to help with bedtime, which was a bad idea, because they only took about 15 minutes to burn. Half of them were charcoal, the fire alarm went off, and the alarm company called, in the Hubster's words "to see how much longer you would be cooking". So I made him eat a poop shaped cookie to see if they were at all edible, his verdict was: "Well, if I was a kid who could not have cookies, I probably would think they were ok."
Kiddo loved them, according to him, the Easter Bunny brings sweet treats in eggs. Apparently my sad cookies, smarties and assorted berries qualified. He would find an egg 'crack' it open, and inhale its contents. Grace made it ok that the cookies looked like poo, they were, after all, still cookies.
Church was a challenge. Kiddo told us he just couldn't go. I remember the feeling. It was just so unfair to have to leave that basket to go sit in a hard pew and listen to adults talk about...stuff. But we went, and got there just in time. While the Hubster parked the car, I walked the boys in and found a seat in the last open pew. Kiddo quietly collapsed to the floor, unable to face sitting in a pew, and we were suddenly surrounded by suppressed giggles. I handed the Baby to Judy, and older woman who thinks my boys are the bees knees, and bent to pick up my silently overwrought child. Grace put Judy on the aisle seat, arms ready to accept my Baby. Grace allowed Kiddo to have his meltdown in a way that was amusing, and Grace allowed me to handle it all in stride.
Our weekend also included an egg hunt, hosted by a good friend, we'll call her 'The Doucch'. This was especially fun because, since I am apparently holding out with providing a sister, Kiddo has decided that The Doucch's daughter, let's call her "T", is his sister. He LOVES her and talks about her all the time. In turn, she is sweet and sensitive to him and they play really nicely together. She thinks it is sweet that he thinks she's his sister. She is five.
The party was a bit loud, and Kiddo is easily overwhelmed in a crowd of older, wilder boys. T seems to know this. She found him, put her arm around his shoulder and led him to quieter corners of the house to play.
The Doucch got special double sized eggs and stuffed them with safe treats for Kiddo, while all the other eggs were normal sized. She also littered the grass with small toys and trinkets. Before sending the kids out, she laid out a few simple rules, including 'leaving the big eggs for kids with allergies so we can keep all of our friends safe'. I leaned over and quietly told Kiddo that the big eggs were for him. T, with her hand placed protectively on Kiddo's back leaned over to me and whispered "Don't worry, I will take good care of him."
They headed out to hunt eggs, and I tagged along behind like a third wheel, Baby snuggled and sleepy in his sling. T took Kiddo's hand and lead him to the big eggs, quietly picking up small eggs, or handing them to other children to keep them away from his 'safe eggs'. She made sure he got enough, and that they fit in his basket. He handed her a few small eggs and they talked excitedly about what was in his eggs. She never told him that her eggs had different candy that he could not eat. She did not open her eggs in front of him. She took good care of him. She did not make him feel different. She saw that he was safe and happy. She acted like the sister he is wishing for.
Part of me wishes I had pictures, or video. But I know that was Grace that made me forget my camera that day. Grace that let the baby sleep quietly snuggled in his sling. Because of Grace, I was not too busy fiddling with my camera or distracted by a hungry baby. Grace allowed me to witness T being so kind and protective of my child.
The Kiddo may never know that his pleasure over simple treats fills my heart with joy, but I do. Judy may never know that her love and acceptance of my children brightens my day and helps me get through frustrating moments, but I do. T and The Doucch may never know what their kindness and inclusion of my son means to me, that they are the answer to prayer, that those moments, while not caught on film are forever etched on my heart...but I do.
This was our first holiday post-diagnosis, it is still not easy. I still get frustrated, but Grace is telling me that everything is going to be alright.