Category Archives: food allergies and friends

Making the Most of It

The other evening, we put together a very impromptu get together with some neighbor friends.  What was a bad experience, turned into a great one!

Earlier that day we were at a family gathering for a graduation party.  These kind of get togethers are always a little nerve racking for me because of Little R’s food allergies.  As you can imagine, there is always a lot of food around with so many people to feed.  My family has gotten pretty good at thinking and planning ahead so that Little R can have a safe visit, but this visit turned ugly!

There were a lot of kids visiting at this gathering, so one of my uncles had planned for a fun activity for them.  The first red flag, or what should have been for me, was when he gathered the kids and had them go search for pine cones.  Yeah, you know where this is going.  I was busy socializing with other relatives, having my own fun, so I was not paying much attention.  The next thing I know, Little R came up to me with a very frightened look on his face and told me that all the kids were playing in PEANUT BUTTER!  You can imagine the skipped beat that my heart experienced at that moment!

I couldn’t believe my eyes!  Little R, with a very sad face, walked off to the other side of the yard and told me he would just play alone until they were done.  BUT, that was NOT good enough!  Peanut butter is not easy to clean up!  I knew that no matter how much effort was placed in hand washing, there would still be peanut butter lingering.  This party was no longer safe for Little R.

I very quickly decided that we HAD to leave.  What was worse was that Little C was covered in said peanut butter!  I had my mom take him inside to wash up as best as she could until we could get home for a real shower and change of clothes.  Little R was NOT happy about my decision to leave.  So, I very quickly came up with a change in plans… our own backyard bon-fire!

I quickly called my hubby to send him out for a fire-pit.  I then called some of our friends in the neighborhood.  We ended up having a GREAT time that night roasting marshmallows and making S’mores.  In spite of the horrific experience earlier in the day, it just goes to show what a positive attitude can do.  (And, no, my attitude was not positive at first, I must confess…)

I am sorry for the long post, but I had to get all of that off my chest!  You are probably wondering why I am sharing so many details.  I think it is important for our friends and family members to get a clear picture of what it is like living with these horrible food allergies.  Thanks for listening.

Little R enjoying one very yummy S'more! Little R enjoying one very yummy S’more!
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Filed under food allergies and friends, Our personal journey

Food Allergies in the Social World

I know, the title is a bit strange.  I just need to write about something that has been on my mind. 

I have written previously that my son with the life threatening food allergies started kindergarten this year.  I have been amazed at how wonderful his teacher has been about following our guidelines in regards to keeping him safe.  She has called me several times with questions when she wasn’t sure about something.  I think this is great.  It makes me feel like she is really on top of things.

It is not really anything to do with the school that bothers me.  It is that meeting new people with children at the school who are new to the world of food allergies. 

I didn’t realize until recently that I have been living in a “safe” world of friendship for quite awhile now.  A few years ago when we moved into our new house, I went through the exhausting task of teaching our new friends in the neighborhood about little R’s food allergies and explaining to them how his life can be truly threatened in a matter of minutes.  They have all come to truly understand the situation and are very supportive.

Just recently, through school, we have started making new friends.  They are wonderful people.  I really enjoy the company of these moms, and my son likes playing with their children.  I have found, though, that I have had a hard time making it clear that little R’s food allergies are pretty severe.  There are many other children at the school who have peanut allergies and they do fine there.  I think that it is too easy to get lumped in a group in which it seems easy to assume that we are all the same.  As a food allergy mom I know that each child’s situation is different, though.  What may work for these other children may not work for us.  It is hard to explain that to someone on the outside.

I have made the final decision to homeschool starting next year.  Though the food allergies play a part in my decision, there are many other reasons as well.  The point is that I have made the decision known, and I think some of these other moms may fell I am being overprotective.  I am sure that looking in from the outside, it may appear to look that way.  But, when it comes to my dear chlidren, I feel that my ultimate job as a parent… before anything else… is to keep them safe.

I know that parents in the food allergy world will understand where I am coming from.  I guess that is why I needed to write this post.  I sometimes feel very alone in this world of food allergies, and right now I could use some words of encouragement.

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Filed under food allergies and friends, food allergies and school, food allergy support, Our personal journey