It's no secret around here that autumn is my favorite season. I mean, I love all the seasons for their own reasons, and winter, especially, is pretty beloved to me. But there is nothing else like autumn. I will probably write at least one more ode to autumn before this month is out.
One thing I love about autumn is the food. Tea is steaming hot, soups are in, hot chocolate and popcorn become the favored afternoon snack, and baking picks up a bit. Baking is a bit different for us now, as about 10 months ago, we transitioned James to a gluten-free diet. Our hope was that it would help with some behavior issues he had been struggling with. I was very skeptical about trying it, but it was really a last-ditch effort and we were encouraged by the success of many friends with a gluten-free diet. I was so weary of dealing with constant behavior battles, and I was even more weary of everyone we knew either throwing diagnoses at him or complaining about him to me, as though I was unaware of my own child's struggles.
In reality, I knew that none of these "acronym" diagnoses that many of our well-meaning family and friends were suggesting fit the bill. But I knew that his meltdowns weren't helping him, and I could see it wearing on my other children, as well. So we were at a place of (almost) desperation when we decided to try gluten-free.
And it worked. Within a few weeks, he was like a different child. It's not perfect, and he can still work on impulse control, but suddenly he was happier, more relaxed, and healthier. I no longer saw the look of fear and confusion in his eyes as he struggled with meltdowns he didn't understand. People started remarking on how he seemed to be so much more calm and confident. A long-time friend (who'd known him since birth) remarked that he seemed more himself again. I do not know why this has worked for him. But it has.
I'm still trying to learn how to bake well with two handicaps (gluten-free and high altitude), and we've had successes and failures. But it's very worthwhile. I'm no longer finding myself crying at the end of the day about a child I don't know how to help. And that means everything.
In this post: gluten-free popovers from King Arthur flour, and some hot tea, apples (from the market), and the very last few tomatoes (from our one tomato plant), just because.