Okay, so I always thought if I ever married a book I would marry a Jane Austen novel. Mr. Darcy and Captain Wentworth. That is all. But they might have competition because I have found a new book that is taking our family by storm. Here’s the thing: I have stayed up nights, seriously, awake many nights, worrying about Toodle’s health and how we are going to eat in a way that doesn’t make all of us, Twinkle included, go absolutely nuts. How will those two get along when we’re all “no wheat” and Twinkle’s all “I want wheat and dairy and sugar and tomatoes and cauliflower because I can” and I’m all “I’m not making four meals for dinner?” How in the actual how? You want to live with us, don’t you? Enter Dr. Amy Myers and The Autoimmune Solution. I am in love. This 30-day healing we have been on for 5 days? It isn’t so bad. Honestly. We have to follow it to the letter in order for it to work. No cheating. No substituting. But it is pretty reasonable. It doesn’t even feel like a “diet.” I was all ready with my own 10 Commandments for how I was going to survive this (I shalt not steal, except for smells of others’ food), and I haven’t even needed them. The recipes in the book? Truthfully to die for. We will now be able to BRING FOOD FOR PEOPLE DURING THE HOLIDAYS! For real. Like, we’ll BRING A WHOLE DISH OF SOMETHING TO SHARE WITH ALL THE PEOPLE. And they will love it. We haven’t done that for a whole year. Because alopecia tried to throw some smak (without a ‘c’, of course) and we decided to be all, “Let’s throw.” Look, I know alopecia is small compared to other autoimmune diseases. But that’s just it. Toodle, already saddled with one autoimmune disease, is at a greater risk for another autoimmune disease, likely of greater proportions. So even if we don’t “cure” or “reverse” her current symptoms, we need to help her be as healthy as possible to prevent future autoimmune disease attacks. And Twinkle. Oh, good grief. She is at an extremely high risk for developing an autoimmune disease. While I don’t want to freak her freak, at least now I can say, “This isn’t just about your sister. We’re all in this together.” I get to make medicine and the odds be the bad guys while I go about my motherly business. Which may or may not include standing over Toodle’s bed at night willing her immune system to relax and her hair to grow. Wait, I don’t actually do that or anything. No more so than when I willed her to breathe as an infant. Because that’s what motherhood is all about. Clearly. Omigod, true story. The very first night at home with Toodle, we had her in a borrowed bassinet right next to K-Hubs’ side of the bed. He kept getting out of bed to see if she was still breathing, and then I finally said, “Stop it. Would you just stay in bed already? You’re shaking the bed. I gave birth. You’re a nervous nelly. I’m really tired, and my back really hurts. We all need sleep because tomorrow we are parents all day without nurses to help us.” So he complied. And then, true as toast, I bolted upright and screeched, “I can’t hear her breathing!!!!! Is she breathing????????” So that went well. Poor K-Hubs (I write that phrase a lot, ‘poor K-Hubs’). He shot out of bed and assured me she was still breathing. I was going to be cool as a cucumber with Twinkle. You know, second child. Relaxed. Knowledgeable. But, whatever, I watched her sleep, too. So “parent” is just another word for “worry,” which makes me really good at “parenting.” Do I think this 30-day healing diet will work? I have genuine hopes for it. I also think it’s something we can stick with for the long haul. And that is refreshing because the journey has been long. So what in the world does this even mean for you? It means, thank you for reading this far and chin up, keep going. Whatever path you are on, keep moving. You’ll find your next right step. It may not be a hassle-free, worry-free journey. But it might take you to the next right move and the next right one after that. If I can learn how to cook whole chickens and make bone broth and use a julienne slicer, you can do this. You know yourself better than anyone else does. You know your loved ones better than anyone else does. You’ve got this. So listen. Breathe. Pray. And keep going.