Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Week of Valentines, Sweeter Than Sugar

Valentine's Day was a week long celebration this year. (Shouldn't it be that way every year? I vote YES.) There is the planning.... helping my son address and assemble Valentines for his classmates with careful consideration. Then there is the actual day, with chocolates and surprises, giggles and hugs.

There were moments throughout the week when I was reminded why I love the people who make the sun shine a little brighter in my life. And there were hours when I embraced my responsibility to love and care for them.

It became evident this week that we should try a new course of action in the treatment (rather, management) of my son's sensory processing disorder. A re-commitment to a dairy-free and gluten-free diet. I had let it slide for a variety of reasons when he started Kindergarten, and to tell the truth I was never too strict about it the first time around. But, now it could possibly make or break the success of his therapy. Who picks Valentine's Day week to explain to a child he can't consume sugar, flour, or milk? Sheesh.... there are easier things, for sure.

My mom's birthday is the day after Valentine's Day, and my sister's is a few days later. So we got together for a dinner and a combined celebration on the weekend -- which also meant another round of Valentines with the cousins. And more sweets. It was day 3 of the gluten-free diet, but I allowed my son to feel "normal" with our family and enjoy cake and ice cream. And my worst fears didn't come true. The sky didn't fall; the earth didn't come to an end. Everything was fine.

Valentine's Day week ended this morning, with my little one climbing into bed to snuggle. He slept an hour later than usual, which was the first reason to smile.

Then came my sweetest Valentine, ever. Not wrapped in a box, not laced with sugar. Not stamped on a conversation heart.

"Mom?" said a little voice.

"Yes?" I answered.

"I'll always love you."

Take that, Hallmark.

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