Chicago mom learns to live a life of joy from her son

Four years ago today, I fell in love with another man. My son! He brings so much emotion to my life that I cannot even begin to express. You don’t realize when they are these small, helpless beings how much they could teach you about yourself. Some days are harsh and some days are wonderful. But my son has not only helped me grow professionally, but emotionally.

I have written about his funky food allergy linked to his psoriasis and stimulates his Sensory Processing Disorder. What you don’t know is how much it pains my heart to live like this. How can his body reject healthy foods is beyond me. While I get the trauma of birth caused this, I am grateful we are here to celebrate his special day.

You see, I am not a negative person and I don’t like to live in my pity parties. I don’t post my agony on social media, but I have broken down and cried several times and prayed to God to heal his little body. And while some of my prayers have been answered, I want more.

We had a big weekend. Friday night was grandparents’ night at my kids’ school and watching my son perform in his cute little outfit and his tie, with a headlamp he made from Kids Science Lab and his dress-up hat on top of it, he lit up the stage and it filled my heart with laughter and pure joy. He was in his moment of being who he was, adorable, funny and loving life. He loves being silly. He loves playing with trains, fire trucks, monster trucks, blocks and Legos. He loves going to school, he is a typical 4-year-old boy. On Saturday, we had his birthday party and while we had a fire truck-themed party. I asked our neighbor, the Chicago Fire Department, if someone could come over to light his birthday cake. So a real fireman came over to light his special birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday. It was a fun moment for him and so much fun to watch this experience for him.

He doesn’t realize he has this funky food allergy. He knows he has psoriasis, which makes him itchy, but I do my best with what I can do and his limited diet and he still loves me for it. I try hard to make him feel normal with this limited diet in this great big food world.

I have a great life, but I find it hard to enjoy it as much as I watched my son love his life on stage on Friday night. I want to feel the same joy, but my constant worry of his diet is robbing me of that. I get tired of people telling me they are glad they don’t have food allergies. It is not what I want to hear. My heart hurts for him, but his heart is teaching my heart something more. When I have had a bad day or we have had a bad day and I act like a 2-year-old, my son will tell me, “I forgive you, mommy” or “It is OK, my tummy will be healed and I can eat whatever I want.” It reminds me that I need to have more joy in my heart for us and my family. His body will heal, but it is not our time right now.

What I am trying to learn is life is not about the food. It is about living a life to feel and experience love and joy so we can create the memories and legacy we want to leave behind. What I can’t understand is, why is that so hard to do?

Thank you to my adorable, sweet, kind, charming, silly lil guy for teaching me so much more than I ever thought. He reminds me we are not to live a life in fear of food, we are to live with joy so the heart can be at peace. After all, it is what we all should want for our lives.

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