My daughter’s birthday is today and she is awesome!

Normally, we go out to dinner to the restaurant of her choice. However, her favorite restaurant is one that has ZERO gluten free options. It is an Italian restaurant and we all know that I avoid Italian restaurants and pizza joints like the plague. This causes me a great deal of concern because she is young and without any food restrictions. Is it fair of me to deny her favorite restaurant because I cannot eat there? Should I make her think of others when she is trying to have her family birthday party? Is it ever okay to be selfish? These are all the big questions that I think about when dealing with this disease and my family.

This issue only comes up with my children. My husband can go to all of the gluten filled restaurants he wants to when he is at work. When we go out as a family, I restrict where we can go so that I can ensure that I can enjoy a meal out safely while still enjoying everyone’s company. It shows empathy and caring for the family unit.

Now there are times when I’m not home or have other commitments and their father takes over parenting duties. These are the times they go to the places I cannot. There are 4-5 restaurants around us that I just refuse to go into because I cannot eat there and it makes me sad. So, I avoid it. They enjoy those nights and I try to make sure they can have them at least once a month.

However, birthdays are special. They only come once a year. They should be enjoyed and treasured as a special time. These are family times, for now. I know one day they will be up and grown, but for now they are medium-sized. They are both tweens. I want my kids to have what they want on their day because they don’t always get to eat out at their special places.

This year for my younger child, we’ve done it differently. This year, I cooked her other favorite food – Mexican food. We had steak fajitas; shrimp tacos; a black bean, corn, and avocado salsa with chips; and refried beans. I made it all and she loved it. I did relent and give her a gluten cake – made in a throw away pan. I bought myself one of the Whole Foods gluten free Salted Caramel Mousse cakes that cost about 10x the gluten box mix and frosting for her cake, but who cares? My Salted Caramel Mousse cake was AMAZINGLY good – if you can, you should buy one!

I will post the recipes for the Mexican fiesta also.

She was very happy with the option of cooking at home and having extended family over for her “family” birthday. The kids played outside. The adults played board games and drank margaritas. It was a great day.

Today is her actual day of birth. I will be making her favorite meal – fettucini alfredo with peas and chicken. She will love it! Yes, it will have gluten. No, I don’t live in a gluten free house. Yes, I know how to manage the situation to avoid getting sick. The dishwasher and stainless steel pots, pans, and colanders solve a lot of problems.

While I still wonder if the family tradition of taking a person out for their birthday should be their choice or if I should make them go someplace everyone can eat – this year, I’ve gotten around it. I’ve made her happy and kept myself safe. I think I’ve come to a good compromise here.

PS – I’ll make her dad and brother take her to her favorite place this week sometime.

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