Today you are 6 years, 2 months and 23 days old. You have long legs, mousey brown hair (with flashes of blond from the sunshine), have a scar on your forehead from a sugar induced, high speed, head on collision with a cupboard at a party and have blue eyes which are the same colour as ‘Forget-Me-Nots’ (I had to google ‘light blue flowers’ here as Daddy is much better at gardening/flower identification than me). You are a runner (running ahead when walking to school, running to the loo, running from the lounge to the kitchen for dinner, running/leaping into bed) and you enjoy being outdoors where you can climb and bounce. You like to play with the boys (especially older ones who you try to keep up with when swinging from climbing frames designed for older kids).
Daddy thinks this is a sign that “We’re in for it” when you get older. Your wardrobe is filled with trousers, jeans, shorts, t-shirts with superheros on the front, Grey shorts/trousers (school uniform), shirts designed for boys and socks with batman on. Anything handed down from your big cousin D’mitri gets worn out because, well, it was D’mitris so it’s super cool.
Grandma takes you swimming on a Wednesday. She does lengths whilst you have your class. Your favourite bit is when the class is over and you can go jumping in and playing ‘water tig’ with Grandma in the big pool – she attempts to keep her hair dry up until this point. You go to Street Dance class on a Friday where you have so far perfected the ‘caterpillar’ and spinning around on your bum – moves you bust out at your friends parties, in our kitchen, in the super market and anywhere else where there’s music playing. On a weekend you enjoy nothing more than a ‘family night’, when Reg goes to bed and you get to eat treats in front of a film with Mummy and Daddy and stay up until 8pm.
You’re a fabulous big sister and have skills in patience and understanding that Mummy and Daddy try to learn from you. You often translate the words Reg says that we don’t understand (and avoid a toddler melt down at his frustrations at not being able to communicate fully with us yet). Reg follows you around like your shadow and you’ve recently taught him to say ‘dog poo’ (which makes you both laugh uncontrollably). You have a shared love of ‘Hay Duggee’ on TV and you allow him to watch Mr Tumble (even though you’d rather be watching stuff for older kids). Without enough sleep you are unable to operate properly and become over emotional and upset (a trait from me unfortunately).
I imagine you are reading this in the year 2038, sat in your sky rise apartment (sustained by burning your toilet matter to provide fuel and solar power to charge your electronic devises). You live in London – that’s where you need to be for your hugely successful street dance career. Hover craft parked outside and electronic dog for company. Mummy and Daddy live next door to the left, unable to cut the apron strings. Mums aged remarkably well considering the great sleep famine of 2018 – some would say she looks younger now than in her 30’s 😉 Reg lives next door to the right (who’s death defying leap of faith from the top run of the slide ladder in 2018 grew from strength to strength and has seen him carve out a career as a trapeze artist in The Cirque Du Soleil).
Occasionally, when you’re not on tour as a backing dancer with the Beyonce of your time, you pop next door to Mum and Dads for a Sunday Roast where Grandma and Grandad have teleported in from Yorkshire and Nanna, along with 25 golden retrievers, is beamed in via super skype. You eat a Sunday Roast with Yorkshire Puddings (thank god Mum finally perfected a GF Yorkie recipe which means they no longer look and taste like rocks) and your favourite for desert, Nannas’ cheesecake. A 22 year old Lycra cladded Reg, perched upon a trapeze at the end of the table, never did grow out of the ‘I’ll only eat it if its smothered in Tomato Sauce’ phase as the health visitor promised in his 2 year old review back in 2018, so Mum ensures there’s a constant supply of the stuff in the cupboard for her little ginger prince (I’m still calling him that).
Here are 4 things I hope are true of your gluten free life in 2038 Peg;
1; CHOICE. I hope that your kitchen cupboards and fridge are full of the food you love and adore. When you’re doing your grocery shopping (sat on your sofa, wearing virtual reality goggles, shopping in the virtual reality super market), you can have anything you like – because you can eat every product on the ‘virtual shelves’ in the store…including the mini cheddars you so miss today. No need to read the tiny text on the back of every packet to check its ingredients
2; EATING OUT. Your weekends are busy with plans to eat out with your friends at any restaurant, café, take away you so choose and that you don’t panic that the kitchen doesn’t understand that even the tiniest crumb of gluten in your body can cause you pain and damage – because that’s common knowledge by now, right? You haven’t had to call ahead or check the menu online to see if they can cater for you or eat ‘plain chicken with mash potato and peas’ as that’s all they can do.
3; TRAVEL. You love food, flavours, experiencing cuisines from around the world and are excited when finding a new restaurant and dish that you love! You’ve enjoyed traveling the world and visiting new places without concern for where you might eat – because you can eat everywhere.
4; DIAGNOSIS. You have lots of friends with Coeliac Disease too, because huge advances in medical science over the last 20 years means, to achieve an official diagnosis, they haven’t had to go through the invasive procedure of an endoscopy to confirm Coeliac Disease like you did back in 2017.
I am very aware that your life probably doesn’t involve robot dogs, street dancing or a trapeze artist brother in 2038 Peg. That’s OK. Me and Daddy just want you to be happy and healthy. To write this letter to you has reminded me why I do this; write a blog, document our journey into the world of gluten free through social media, raise money for Coeliac UK, work with your school and catering company to ensure they can cater for kids with Coeliac Disease. It’s because I want the future to be different. To be better for you (and everyone with Coeliac Disease). I hope it is.