Happy Mother’s Day! and Turning Down Food Gifts

I want to wish all of you women out there a Happy Mother’s Day, even those who fill it in an “unofficial” capacity.  Without mothers, where would we be?

As mothers, we fill so many different roles.  Cab driver, nurse, dresser, hair dresser, teacher, friend, disciplinarian, trampoline (you know it’s true)… the list goes on and on.

Sometimes people want to do nice things for us to show us that we are special, too.  Today, as we arrived home from church, I saw Braden’s scout leader and his wife waiting outside our house.  I was curious as he had his hands behind his back, and she was holding a pie, and I kept thinking “please God, don’t let her give me that pie.”

Why do I feel like that?  Because it is really hard to turn gifts that came with good intentions.

Luckily, he had a big plaster heart with Braden’s handprint that they had made in Boy Scouts last week.  Unluckily, the pie was, in fact, intended for me.  At that point, I just said “thank you very much but we can’t eat that.”  She said something like “ok,” and that was the end of that, but I often wonder how people really feel.  Did I say enough?  Did I say too much?  (Sometimes I really explain the reasons.)

In the past 9+ years, I have had to turn down food A LOT.  With it comes an extremely wide variety of responses and emotions.  I have even had people get angry that I wouldn’t eat their food, because, after all, if I cared about them or their feelings, it shouldn’t hurt me to eat their food.  (Wrong!, of course.)  These people don’t tend to feature prominently in my life.

I have also had many people who are genuinely concerned about my health.  Once a month in the women’s organization at church, somebody brings homemade treats to celebrate all of the birthdays that month.  Knowing that I can’t eat them and that I would be wary of cross contamination even if they tried making something from a gluten-free mix, one of the leaders always makes sure there are some chocolates available that I can have.  When we have a dinner at an event, she will make sure there is a bowl of fresh fruit for me (knowing that I like fruit).  They may not be big things, but it means something big to me.

If I know ahead of time that someone wants to bring me food (like if I’m sick or had a baby or just moved, etc.), I tell them that a fruit basket would be wonderful.

These are delicate emotional waters we tread, but the most important thing to remember is our health.  Are you the type of person who takes the food and then gives it away or throws it in the trash?  I’d prefer for people to understand (it also helps cut down on it happening again).  Do you explain Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance every time?  Do you have a scenario that works with most people?

I love that this lady wanted to bring me a pie.  I really, truly do.  I love that, even though she barely knows me, she thought enough of me to bring me a pie.

I wish I had been able to convey that.

Photo by Angel Rogers

Photo by Angel Rogers

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