Marsha Delaney: Posted on Tuesday, March 05, 2013 11:16 AM
|A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending San Francisco’s Gluten and Allergen-Free Expo. Not only was it a wonderful place to browse around and eat everything in sight without fear of exposing myself to gluten, it was also a wonderful place to shop for cookbooks and to meet gluten-free authors perched at the forefront of this whole gluten-free revolution.
One of the authors I met was Stasie John, author of the children’s book, “The Gluten Glitch.” It’s the story of a little boy, Gideon, who has a gluten intolerance. Gideon is upset after having to miss out on a special treat the other kids were eating at the school party. His mother helps him work through his feelings by discussing what happens to him if he eats gluten and why it’s important for him to stay away from it. She also helps him to focus on what he can eat, helping him to realize that being gluten-free isn’t so bad.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Stasie about her children and their problem with gluten, which started subsequent conversations with people standing next to me about their own children’s reactions to it. One lady’s son had the same behavioral issues as I have with my son. Everyone I spoke with seemed to be overjoyed with the realization that they and their families were not alone in their gluten-related issues. I had a three minute conversation with some random guy on body rashes at another booth a few minutes earlier. He even had pictures of what he looked like before going gluten-free on his phone. (I suppose it’s always nice to actually speak with people face-to-face about like experiences, especially when half the people you say these things to in the real world look at you like you have a screw loose.) I was eager to see his before-going-gluten-free back rash because it compared with my daughter’s eczema issues.
That night, I read, “The Gluten Glitch,” to my son. Well, I tried to read it my son. We didn’t make it through the entire book because everything in it made him think of an experience in his own life that he wanted to tell me about or talk with me about right then and there. He related so well to this book and was so moved by the similar experiences of Gideon to his own life, that we couldn’t go any further until he exhausted all of his own thoughts on each page. I even caught my ten-year-old daughter (the one who gets really sick if she’s exposed to even the slightest amount of gluten), peeking her head into my son’s bedroom to listen. (She’s ten, so her listening to this child’s story was something she didn’t want to be seen doing.) I caught the expression on her face. She was smiling profusely.
My son will read the book through from cover to cover if he’s alone in his room, and I’ve caught him doing this many times since bringing the book home. If I read it to him, however, which he often wants me to do, we’ll perhaps get a page further than the previous reading, but not any more than that because new thoughts and experiences have to be let out, all over the page we’re on. It can be a little frustrating as a mother who just wants to read her son a story so he’ll go to sleep, but as the mother of three gluten-free children, I’m overjoyed to find a book that speaks to my kids on their level about what they face on a daily basis. “The Gluten Glitch,” makes my kids realize that they aren’t alone in this gluten-free world of theirs. Gideon is right there with them.
Thank you, Stasie John. 🙂