Someone Else's Childhood: A Diabetic Discovers Eating for Fun

BlogHer Original Post

Recently, my husband and I went to a French restaurant to celebrate our marriage and our growing family.

Since I was seven months pregnant, we didn’t crack open any bottles of wine during this dinner, but instead decided to indulge on a delicious fruit plate with chocolate fondue, which included white chocolate and hazelnut dipping sauces on the side.

“What is this stuff?” I asked, easing my strawberry into the small dish of hazelnut spread.

“It’s Nutella, baby. You’ve never had that before?”

“No. It tastes like hazelnuts and sort of like chocolate. But it’s not chocolate. And it’s seriously awesome. What’s it called again?” I couldn’t stop rambling – this stuff was totally hitting the spot, appeasing my craving for something sweet and decadent.

“Nutella. You’re being serious? You’ve never had this before?”

“Dude, why would my mother ever introduce me to this sort of thing? I’d have stolen jars of it from the store and eaten them in one gulp, had I known.” I smiled ruefully, thinking of the E.L. Fudge cookie binges I went on as a kid, rearranging the remaining cookies in the sleeve to hide the holes where the missing cookies had once been.

“Good point.” He handed me another strawberry. “Bolus away, love.”

I forget how many of those “treats” I haven’t missed during the last twenty-three years. As a kid, I hadn’t ever stuck a spoon into a jar of Fluff and gobbled up a few bites, and I hadn’t ever had juice “for fun.” (Always “for lows.”) It was strange to picture a childhood in which Ring Dings weren’t eaten in secret or rice cakes weren’t used as hopeful barter in third grade for a Snicker’s bar in the cafeteria. (For the record, no one ever wanted my rice cakes. They usually ended up shoved back into my book bag and eaten on the bus by this weird kid who also ate mud pies – literally.)

Food is such a tricky, tricky thing for me, and enjoying a sweet treat in public isn’t ever easy. I usually swallow a little bit of guilt with each bite of sweet, but I know that carrying the guilt isn’t fair. So long as I’m respecting my diabetes control when I indulge, there’s no harm in finding out just how delicious Nutella can be.

But when the check arrived, and with it, a wand of freshly spun, light pink cotton candy, I exclaimed excitedly, “Oooh! Cotton candy! I’ve only had that once before!”

Chris’s face broke into a wide smile as I twirled off a small section of the spun sugar and tasted someone else’s childhood.

Girl (4-5) tasting chocolate sauce in kitchen

Six Until Me.

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