Today is my oldest grandson’s birthday. He turned 5 today. He is in pre-school and one of his fellow classmates was diagnosed with celiac disease in October. The little boy is 4.

I was diagnosed at the age of 26 and it was hard. There were many days I cried. Because I couldn’t have pizza, or pasta, or  be “normal”. I was 26! Just think how a 4 year old feels.

His mom sends gluten-free snacks for him. But think about how you would feel if all of your friends were having cookies or cupcakes and you were getting gluten-free pretzels or cheese sticks? Wouldn’t you feel different or, not really a part of the class? I feel for this little boy. I totally get the feelings.

I’m having a lunch date with my sisters and cousin next Wednesday, at my one sister’s house. The food, for the most part will be gluten-free, but she told me that she was making a cake for dessert. “You won’t be able to eat it, but I have ice cream for you”. Do you know how that feels? Well I do. So, I made sure, that for my grandson’s birthday celebration at school, there were gluten-free cupcakes for this little boy.

When I went to pick up my grandson today from pre-school, the little celiac student thanked me for the gluten-free cupcakes. It wasn’t the thank you that got me…It was the huge smile on his face. A smile that said “thank you for including me. Today I felt like everybody else in the class.”

If you have a gluten free child, I get how hard it is to make him/her feel included. If there is a gluten free child in your child’s class, please remember, they are children. The just want to feel included…not different.