As Charlotte’s fourth birthday approaches, I have been reflecting on the starting point of our Paleo journey. It was the day that she turned 2 years old that her dysregulation and stress were unseen by us, but were carefully noticed and pointed out by caring friends. It was at a time when her immune system was so compromised that she was constantly and unsuccessfully battling illness. We began slowly eliminating grains and sugar and watched in astonishment as her health improved.
So, today, nearly 2 years later, I am proud to say that a week after Dana brought a nasty stomach virus into out home, Charlotte has been unfazed. Previous bouts of stomach flu tore through our house despite my best efforts to sanitize and prevent drink sharing. This time I thought about it less. I trusted out bodies to handle the virus, but I knew the strength of the enemy we were dealing with. Without emotion or guilt, I forced everyone to eat clean for 1 week. Sorry, no gluten-free oatmeal or pancakes. Only 1 corn tortilla with your taco. Your burger better be bun-less. Your stomach will thank me. I am relishing our triumph over a microscopic virus that would have beat us in the past.
The next victory is so sweet and tender it’s difficult to put into words…..it’s kind of like yoga when you’ve reached your edge and are experiencing the ecstasy of the stretch…..or it’s like an incredible and breathtaking view at the end of a strenuous hike….maybe it’s more like opening a present that contains a gift you’ve dreamed about, but never spoken of. Truthfully, it’s much more simple….it’s when she locks eyes with me, and I see clearly that the discomfort and pain of her frozen her smile and spirit are beginning to melt away. All that’s left is the beautiful and peaceful face that I remember so vividly on the day she was born.
In many ways I’m meeting her for the first time and experiencing the sweet fruits of preschool independence after all the harrowing and dysregulated years of her toddlerhood.
So I am soaking up these small victories like sweet fruits and using the intensely positive and powerful gift of a mommy’s love and pride to cleanse my own failures and setbacks.
Happy 2nd Paleo Anniversary to us.
As much as I would love to keep this post as is and continue to believe that Charlotte beat the stomach flu, it is sadly not so. The barf began just a few hours after I documented the false triumph…and eerily only about 20 minutes after Chad and I left for dinner with our sick child in the hands of an unsuspecting friend. But somehow, in the midst of the guilt and disbelief and sleep deprivation, I still feel the positive emotions of gratitude for my friend’s selflessness, pride in Dana’s helpful hand, and relief in knowing that despite this particular bout of the nasties, Charlotte is still a strong and healthy kid.