I think that parents of autistic children will all agree that life gets a pretty through overhaul in the early years after your child's diagnosis. I was just reflecting on this as I was washing dishes, which pile up so quick due to all the GF/CF cooking done in our house.
One marker of these drastic changes that I have identified with me personally has to do with my job: bakery clerk. I have held several different positions in several different bakeries since I started as a sophomore in college ten years ago. It has been my job while my husband and I have been going to school and raising our son. Most frequently, I have been on the night crew, because those have been the hours I have been available. We manage product, provide customer service, and most of all, we clean. Boy, do we clean. I currently this position for the time being.
When I meet someone new and I mention my job for the first time, I regularly get asked, "So, do you decorate the cakes?" This occurs almost without fail. I do not blame them one bit. It is that bit of nostalgia that goes with special custom cakes. Weddings, birthdays, bridal/baby showers, etc. We celebrate them all with cakes.
I do know how to decorate. My college degree is in art, and so the creative element has always had a draw for me and I have made it my business to know how. However, being a cake decorator is a position I have never held. My availability for my job with college and family has never allowed it. I used to think that the circumstance was really one of those "too bad" things. I used to really want to be a decorator.
I have done many, many custom cakes for people over the years in my job. I have pictures of cakes I have made for family members. One summer I made two wedding cakes, one for my sister, and one for my sister-in-law. I even remember once watching a video on youtube of someone using fondant to ice a cake. The next day there was a fondant wedding cake order to do, and the decorator needed help, and so with my new knowledge I got to help her. I could not have been prouder.
Interestingly enough, I have recently found that my feelings on the subject have changed a great deal. It is all a direct result of all the changes these early years of my child's diagnoses has had. When I think about being a decorator and spending all that time with the cakes, I think, "Ice hunks of gluten with gobs of trans-fat? No thank you!"