He’s a child, not an allergy

by , posted on September 8th, 2011 in Parenting




Sawyer's first day of school

This is my eldest son, Sawyer, before we left for his first day of second grade Wednesday morning.

He’s a happy kid. He loves bey blades. And by love I mean he sleeps with his bey blades case next to him at night. He’s a great swimmer, a good soccer player and his favorite food is pasta (butter, but sometimes sauce). He gets popsicles for his baby brother and will give the last cookie to his sister.

Would you want this child to die? Because when you gripe about your kids having to go to a peanut-free school, when you roll your eyes as another parent questions what’s in the food her child is about to eat, when you think it’s all hysteria and helicopter mom-ing and that these children should be homeschooled, you’re talking about the life of MY CHILD. This little boy you see, with the brown fuzzy hair and the chocolate eyes that tilt at the corners.

Last night, while you were all sleeping, Sawyer lay next to me. He’d come in about 11 p.m. because he was coughing, and I immediately realized that cough came along with a big wheeze. The stomach ache he’d complained of before bedtime, when he asked how you knew when you were going to throw up, made sense. Especially when within an hour of him coming into my bed, three large patches of hives erupted on his belly. A breathing treatment and two doses of benadryl finally sent him back to his own bed – and to sleep – at 2 a.m. He would start school eight hours later.

He’d eaten a cookie at a bakery we’d visited many times without incident. It was not a peanut butter cookie. It was molasses, but cross-contamination happens and that cookie he’d happily eaten with his cousins, a fun outing before they headed home to Florida the next day, became poison.

I looked at his dark eyelashes that curl almost in half, as he breathed in the healing medicine of the nebulizer. I studied his arms, tan against the cream blanket, and thought my hand could easily encircle his biceps. It hit me so hard, then. How truly little he is. How incredibly vulnerable. And how even when he grows taller than me and stubble colors his now baby-smooth face, even when he is a parent himself, this will always be with him.

This awful, deadly allergy.

Where a great dinner with his cousins turned into a long, long night as his body saw an enemy and reacted.

So when your kids eat whatever they want without you having to worry or question, feel lucky. Not entitled.

If you haven’t lived it, you can’t get it, but you can look at this picture, you can meet my boy who will immediately befriend you, and you can think.

HE is not an allergy. He’s a child with an allergy.

A child.

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61 Responses to “He’s a child, not an allergy”

  1. Cheryl D. Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Allergies suck big time! I’m lucky in that when my daughter gets a cross-contamination issue (I’m guessing from walnuts, her lesser allergy), Benadryl clears it right up. We’ve never had to use an epipen (no exposure to cashew after her initial reaction), thank goodness!
    Cheryl D. recently posted..Unbelievable! Friggin’ Unbelievable!

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    Cheryl Reply:

    He got the hives AFTER I’d given him benadryl. Took another dose three hours later, and they were gone when he woke up in the morning.

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  2. Alison@Mama Wants This Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 5:07 am

    A life threatening allergy is truly frightening for a parent. This is an important post for all to read, thank you for sharing, Cheryl.

    So glad Sawyer’s okay.
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..Tasty Thursday: Chicken Schnitzel

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  3. JDaniel4's Mom Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 6:23 am

    Well said! Thankfully my son doesn’t have food allergies, but he does have pollen allergies that keep us inside most of the spring and have him on three medications year round.
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Understanding Preschool-Lessons from the First Week

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  4. Jessica Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Oh Cheryl this gave me chills. I can’t imagine having to deal with a life-threatening allergy every day and on top of that, the disregard from other people, as if it is an inconvenience to them. So hard when we see our children as this fragile. I’m glad that he is okay.
    Jessica recently posted..As You Begin School

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  5. Jaime Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 7:55 am

    This is awesome. I don’t have kids with food allergies, but one of my closest friends does. I constantly hear the same things you mention “How do they not allow peanut butter,” “Just because one kid is sick, why should my kids suffer,” “Doesn’t the kid know what he/she should eat?”

    I’ve never lived it, but each time I hear these insensitive words I think of my friend Carrie and how she lives it every single day. And that makes me correct them. Her daughter can’t even smell peanuts without a reaction. Her son can’t touch milk without a reaction.

    Her struggle has made this such a touchy point for me. I’m going to send her this post.

    Thank you for writing this, beautiful as always.
    Jaime recently posted..Honeysuckle

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  6. Carrie Hewitt Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Geez…..I am brought to tears. Jaime, you are an incredible friend. Cheryl, I literally “felt” every word of your post and couldn’t have said it better. Thank you for writing it. My family has learned to live with food allergies as if they are just part of us. That does not make them any less scary however, just “normal” for us. I thank God everyday that this is our biggest challenge. Thanks for sharing ladies!

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  7. Arnebya Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I’ve never lived it, but I understand how incomprehensible it seems when other parents dismiss your need to have precautions in place. It’s a little extra effort to make sure another child does not fall ill. Or die! Save the dramatic eye rolling and bitching about how it’s denying your kid peanuts/butter. Save the PB&J for home and be done w/it b/c keeping another child alive should just be enough.
    Arnebya recently posted..Wordful Wednesday: Shoe Shift

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  8. Kmama Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 8:46 am

    I completely understand. Thankfully, some of my son’s food allergies are subsiding (he was originally diagnosed with 30 food allergies…it was insane). The ones that linger strongly are tree nuts and sesame. Even though he scores low for peanuts, the risk of cross contamination is too high.

    I hope Sawyer is feeling much better now.
    Kmama recently posted..Proud Mommy Moments: Liar Liar

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  9. Evonne Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 9:23 am

    I hope Sawyer is doing better today.

    Years ago I worked with a boy who was severely allergic to peanuts. It was a very scary thing, but sadly not all of the other parents in the day care understood all our precautions.

    Peanut allergies are a big concern at my kids’ school this year. I had a talk with my daughter the other day. I had to explain that those kids and just that. Kids. They just happen to have allergies.
    Evonne recently posted..Communication is key

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  10. Krista Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 10:31 am

    AMEN. And also? This scares me to death. My daughter has had two incidents with nuts. The last was after taking a cashew when we weren’t paying close enough attention. She had a rash all over her tiny little body. I spent all night tiptoeing into her room to make sure she was OK. And we’ve avoided anything “nut” ever since.
    I guess now that she’s nearly 2, it’s time to get her tested and find out for sure what we’re dealing with. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t so, so scared of what the testing will be like for her and what the outcome will be.
    Krista recently posted..The daycare update

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  11. Mimzy Wimzy Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 10:47 am

    I was babysitting for one of Hubby’s co-workers. A little girl I had watched on occasion over several months. She was about to turn 1. Her parents fed her everything. At 3 months old they gave her a taste of a peanut butter cup ice cream treat. Just a day or two before I had her on this occasion she had eaten a peanut butter sandwich. Dad was running late to pick her up & I had used up all the food Mom had packed for her. As I was getting dinner ready for everyone else in the house that night I gave her a peanut butter sandwich to hold her over until Dad came. She picked it up, bit it, tossed the sandwich & spit out the bite she took. Within minutes she was all red & blotchy & itchy. I rushed her to the hospital. They treated her while we waited for Mom & Dad. The Dr in the ER said he felt the bread had mold spores on it and her penicillin allergy was the culprit. Mom was not satisfied & within days took her for allergy testing. Come to find out she has SEVERE peanut & egg allergies! We now make sure anytime she is at our home the peanut butter is locked away!
    She didn’t ask for this, just as your son didn’t. They deserve respect.
    Mimzy Wimzy recently posted..I think I need to build an ark!

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  12. Mama, Hear Me Roar Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Oh my, this is too scary. My kids don’t have any allergies and I’m thankful for this post that helps me understand the horrors have having them. And yes, why don’t they have peanut-free schools?

    So glad Sawyer’s fine now.
    Mama, Hear Me Roar recently posted..My love of cloth diapers

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  13. Ashley Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Oh goodness, I am so so glad he is okay! To this point neither of my kids have displayed an allergy, but I’ve seen my good friend’s little one have a reaction, and it was terrifying. I never get the complaints of some parents about caution- give the kid peanut butter or nuts or whatever your school asks not to have at home!!

    So sorry you both have such a scary thing to deal with.
    Ashley recently posted..Damn Lucky

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  14. gigi Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 11:37 am

    So glad he is okay. I am always very grateful that my children don’t have food allergies. Every child has some cross to bear or burden to deal with but it’s so much more complicated when they are life-threatening.
    gigi recently posted..One {Sluiter}Nation, Under God

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  15. Sherri Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Tears over here, Cheryl. Seriously, how can people even THINK that your child’s life is worth their “entitlement” to eat whatever they want?

    He is adorable, he is a healthy, normal young boy…and he is highly allergic. If he had cancer? People would do whatever they could to help. That sounds harsh, but I know exactly what you mean.

    So glad he’s OK.
    Sherri recently posted..Mourning Lessons

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  16. molly Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Beautiful post. Beautiful boy.
    molly recently posted..What’s for breakfast?

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  17. Jayme (RandomBlogette) Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I am so glad that he is ok. My heart breaks for you guys that people would actually be upset that they have a peanut-free school. I am sure those parents would rally for their kids if they had this allergy. My kids have seasonal allergies so I am lucky with that but my daughter has PKU. With PKU she cannot have anything sugar-free or containing aspartame. If she does there is a very high chance that she can become very ill and/or become mentally retarded. People think that I am a freak because I am always asking if something is sugar-free or if it has aspartame and I am always reading labels. I am lucky in the fact that hers is very mild, but there are so many families out there that are not as lucky.
    Jayme (RandomBlogette) recently posted..Tiny Dancer

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  18. Victoria KP Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Very well put. I think people just don’t get it. All they see is how something inconveniences them. I was visiting my sister-in-law once and a friend of hers was complaining that her child’s school had a student with a severe latex allergy. So the school provides special latex-free erasers and doesn’t allow kids to bring their own. She went on and on about “our tax dollars” being spent on something so wasteful. Seriously? How is protecting a child a waste of tax dollars.
    Victoria KP recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: First Day of School

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  19. Rachel {at} Mommy Needs a Vacation Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    He is absolutely adorable. I can’t imagine how scary having a child with a deadly food allergy must be. I do feel very lucky that my kids don’t have them. My sister-in-laws kids have terrible, life threatening food allergies so I know that it is in the family & feel very lucky.

    So glad he was okay.
    Rachel {at} Mommy Needs a Vacation recently posted..My Family is Complete

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  20. Ina Mae O'Connor Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Thank you for this thoughtful story. As the mother of 4 children with food allergies I have an idea what you are going through. Instead of getting up set about peanut precautions they should get upset about why we have such an increase in this terrible plague. Starting with genetically modified soy. Allergies to soy doubled in the UK when GMO soy was introduced. An allergy to one can set up up for an allergy to the other. By the way, I read Lets Have Healthy Children by Adele Davis and solved all of my children’s food problems. This book is outdated, but a good naturopath might help.

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  21. SurferWife Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    My nephew has a severe peanut allergy as well, so I get it. You’re a good mommy. Sawyer’s lucky to have you.
    SurferWife recently posted..Where the Turf Meets the Surf

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  22. erin margolin Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Cheryl,

    Phenomenal post! My kids do not have allergies, and I am grateful. I confess I do send them to school w/ PB & J sammies sometimes (we are allowed to, but when we do, they cannot sit near the little boy in their class who is allergic), and I feel guilty. I am sorry for what he’s had to go through. But I’m really glad you posted this.
    erin margolin recently posted..Not All Pregnant Women Are Smug.

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  23. Mrs. Jen B Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    It’s so easy for parents who don’t have to deal with this everyday worry to judge, roll their eyes, etc. He’s adorable, by the way.
    Mrs. Jen B recently posted..Wellness Wednesday: Sick And Tired

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  24. julie gardner Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Oh Cheryl.

    I hate that Sawyer has to endure this. That you have to endure this.

    I can only hope that this generation of children we’re raising will grow up aware and tolerant and educated about the risks…unlike some adults who roll their eyes and complain that “peanut butter sandwiches are all Sally will eat!”

    There’s 7th-grade girl at Karly’s school who has a severe allergy and has a designated peanut-free table for lunch. (This makes me nervous because it’s just a table, but I suppose it’s better than nothing.) Although I’ve never sent a nut product to school with either of my kids, Karly asked if I’d start packing her lunches that are “extra-safe” so she can sit with this girl.

    Because of my nephews’s allergy, I’m fairly well-versed in cross-contamination issues. And I will gladly do my best to help and Karly’s friends all want to support this girl.

    I can only hope it’s enough. That they are careful. That all these girls are hyper-aware of the risks.

    The attitudes ARE changing with this new generation. I’m just sorry it comes at the expense of so many children who are in danger.

    Much love to you, my friend.
    Cheers to a safer day…
    julie gardner recently posted..Today call me parched.

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  25. Mindy Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    This is such a heartfelt, important post. My cousin’s daughter has a life threatening peanut allergy and I can’t believe the hurdles she has to jump to get accommodations for her daughter at school. She even has a presentation prepared to educate teachers and administrators. In my opinion, schools should simply be as peanut-free as reasonably possible. Period. No one should feel frightened that their kids might be exposed to a life threatening allergy that could easily be avoided by changing what we pack in our children’s lunches. I recognize that it is more complicated than that and would probably be difficult to make cafeteria lunches completely peanut free. But we can all do our best without complaining or acting as though replacing pbj sandwiches with turkey is a huge hassle. I hope your son is feeling better and enjoys school!
    Mindy recently posted..Pathetic and Powerless…

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  26. Kiran (Masala Chica) Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    What a great post this was. It’s so true and also such an eye opener for parents who don’t experience this. I give my children peanut butter and jelly without a care and we have so much flexibility with our options. But its not like that for every parent and its scary how quickly a reaction can become something very dangerous and potentially life threatening. I will think about your son the next time i feel “inconvenienced”.

    Thanks for this very humbling post.
    Kiran (Masala Chica) recently posted..Just. Fine.

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  27. Jen Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    This post is so powerful. Thank you for writing it.

    And I want you to know that its because of you and other bloggers who have children with food allergies, I ask the school what food I can and cannot bring in. No more do I wait to be told or just assume that peanut butter or nuts are alright.

    I don’t want any child to suffer because of me being inconsiderate.

    We as parents need to model this behavior of thinking of others because if we don’t, how can we expect our children too.
    Jen recently posted..Don’t Mess with Triplets

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  28. Alexandra Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    I could write chapters on this, and it’ll all come out as anger.

    How people can say, “We don’t have any peanut kids in class again this year, do we?” or “I hope none of those allergy kids are in class again…we don’t get to bring in the treats we want with them.”

    Just a matter of choice, or inconvenience to others, but potential emergency with us.

    And the part about what our child hears being said about him.

    If the parents say this in front of me, the parent…I know they let it fly even more in front of a little kid.

    It is frustrating for both sides–I get it. However, ours is a matter of life and death, not preferences.

    This would be a great post for FAAN, and AllergyNews.

    Glad Sawyer is better.

    *We had a run in at the ice cream shop…so glad I always have my meds with me.
    Alexandra recently posted..Charlie Brown’s Great Pumpkin Came Early This Year

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  29. My Pajama Days Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Your son is the cutest thing ever! This is such a great post. It really puts things in perspective. My niece has a wheat allergy that causes severe asthma attacks. It is incredibly scary and oh so tiring, I bet, to constantly have to read all the labels and remind our kids to not take food from their friend’s lunch boxes. How do you manage birthday parties and things?
    My Pajama Days recently posted..I Can Add Dog Rescuer to My Resume

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  30. Kim at Let Me Start By Saying Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    So perfectly put.
    My son and daughter have the same allergy/Metabolic Intolerance that I (and my mom) have: chocolate.
    People don’t seem to take it seriously, and it infuriates me. Or they talk about how DELICIOUS it is in front of them, jokingly complain about how “no one here can eat my favorite thing because SOMEONE is allergic” when clearly mine is the only family I’ve met with this allergy.
    it isn’t funny. Please try to remember and please realize your exposure to my kid is so little, it won’t ruin your life to go without it when you’re close to him.
    Kim at Let Me Start By Saying recently posted..Slow Down & Feel It

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  31. Kimberly Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    People are so inconsiderate.
    A friend of mine was just talking about how a child was destiny allergic to dairy. The kids had to eat in the hallway until they could figure out a plan to keep the child with te allergy safe. She heard a lot of things being said…most negative.
    It is a child for god’s sake. They can’t help it.
    Kimberly recently posted..Courage

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  32. Annie @astonesthrow Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Sent over here by Erin . . .
    All I can say is AMEN sister! AMEN!
    I just had to send my youngest to preschool this year, and she has a peanut allergy. Everytime the phone rings while she is there, my heart skips a beat. I am terrified.
    I wrote about it last week too.
    http://astonesthrowfrominsanity.blogspot.com/2011/08/my-kid-has-peanut-allergy.html
    Thanks for giving all of us peanut moms (and kids) a voice.:)
    Annie @astonesthrow recently posted..A Bad Ass And A Booger Picker

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  33. Tim@sogeshirts Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Great post Cheryl. Deadly allergies are a serious issue. Those that don’t have kids with allergies or allergies themselves do not know the ramifications. Glad he is ok.

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  34. angela Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    What an awesome post, Cheryl! Submit it for syndication everywhere you can think of, because everyone should read it. Everyone. Abbey has a peanut allergy, but it isn’t that severe. But it can get worse.

    A child at her school this year has a latex allergy so severe that the parents donated all new balls to the school, just so that deadly powder isn’t anywhere around him. I could see parents looking at each other during our orientation, and it made me so very angry :(
    angela recently posted..Is There Happiness in Slow Love? – A Book Review

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  35. Jessica Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Bawling. I love your baby boy and I don’t have to meet him. Because I get it. And it’s true. If you don’t have one, you have no idea what it’s like. We didn’t choose this allergy. People who complain about an inconvenience have no freaking clue… Normally I don’t link back to myself, but I wrote a post awhile back when that stupid group in Fla was insisting that poor girl be homeschooled so their kids didn’t have to wash their hands. I think (I know) you can relate..http://itrocks2bmom.com/2011/03/28/what-if-it-was-your-child/
    Thank-you for helping to bring awareness. Now, I’m gonna anxiously wait for my kindergartner (who has a peanut-allergy) to come home so I can hug him close.
    Jessica recently posted..Wordless Wednesday – He’s Got A Knack

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  36. Chunky Mama Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Poor kiddo.
    Hope he’s feeling much better now.
    My daughter has a mild food allergy that we haven’t been able to pin down yet. She breaks out in hives occasionally, but we’ve never been able to find the cause. It’s frustrating, but I know we are lucky it’s not a more severe allergy.
    I hope the rest of your son’s first week at school goes smoothly.
    Chunky Mama recently posted..Confessions

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  37. Shanna ~ My Favorite Everything Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    You are amazing! I love to read what you write, whether the topic is sad, happy, or scary, fiction or non-fiction. You have a beautiful way with words

    And I love your son :-) He is a wonderful little person with a gorgeous mom watching over him. Hugs!
    Shanna ~ My Favorite Everything recently posted..{family fun} wall of happiness

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  38. GRAMPS Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I have always been one of THOSE people
    Not any more.
    Thanks for the wakeup

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  39. Melissa Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    What a beautiful boy. This made me cry. I hope parents everywhere read this…they need to!!

    Hugs to you Cheryl.

    Tweet, facebook, stumble this post everyone…it matters.
    Melissa recently posted..I Pay My Kids to go to Sleep

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  40. Missy | The Literal Mom Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I’m president of a school board that has a strict, strict, strict health and nutrition policy. A parent recently complained to me about getting dinged for sending a peanut butter sandwich into the class where more than 1 child has severe allergies (and by dinged, I mean a nice reminder note in the lunch box – not exactly hard core).

    THIS POST is why these policies exist. Not to make people’s lives “harder.” As if having to choose to forgo peanut butter one time a day is “hard.” Maybe they need to walk a mile in your shoes to see what “hard” is.

    And some schools segregate the kids with severe allergies. Which I think is JUST as abhorrent as segregation was in the fifties. What are places thinking? Makes me mad.

    Excellent post. Thanks for writing it.
    Missy | The Literal Mom recently posted..Ask Literal Mom – Clingy Kid

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  41. Kristin Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Great post! One of my daughters is severely allergic to tree nuts and I so identify with that awful realization of their vulnerability. She is my first experience with any kind of food allergy, and I wish I could say I was more sympathetic before she developed her allergy, but I wasn’t. Respectful, of course, and careful to follow any necessary precautions for friends or coworkers, but I just didn’t get how serious it is. I had to see for myself the instant facial swelling, the hives and experience the violent, projectile vomiting (all over me) to really “get” that for some people, common foods are (deadly) poisons. I’m so very glad your son is better after this recent exposure! ~K
    Kristin recently posted..Recommended Reading: Preparing Your Little Ones For Worship

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  42. Life In A Pink Fibro Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    Wonderful post. Am so glad I stopped by to read it. My children don’t have allergies and I do feel blessed. I hope Sawyer’s day at school went well!
    Life In A Pink Fibro recently posted..A random post about kindness

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  43. Kelly Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Great post! I’m a teacher and we do all eating in the classroom therefore if there is a child with a peanut allergy, we ask all parents not to send it. I’ve gotten complaints about how it’s SO hard to think of anything other than peanut butter to send. SERIOUSLY!? You might have to think a little harder so your child’s friends can be safe!
    Kelly recently posted..My Favorite Things- Wedding Style

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  44. Joy Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    A lovely post, thank you. My daughter has a severe dairy intolerance (no an allergy – no hives or anaphyaxis) but enought that she will never eat ice cream, have pizza from somewhere other than our own kitchen or hot chocolate. She’s wonderful about it, at 5 she takes care of her own health when I’m not there.

    We had two interesting birthday party experiences this past school year. I always email the parents to tell them N has the intolerance and that I will gladly bring in food for her if they aren’t comfortable serving her. one mom kindly emailed back and said she already knew and she had been recipe-testing the week before so she would have something dairy and nut-free for the kids with allergies (I cried!).

    Flash forward a month, I email the parents with the usual spiel. I heard nothing back so I thought it was ok. Pizza and ice cream cake. That’s it. I was angry. Not that she should change her menu plan (she shouldn’t) but that she chose not to give a damn about my kid and give me a head’s up.

    It’s not about putting others out, it’s about the health of our children. Miss N doesn’t ask for bronchial and digestive issues or the severe leg pain she gets when she ingests milk.
    Joy recently posted..Museum Visit: Science on a Sphere

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  45. Jeannie Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    I’m lucky my kids do not have allergies. I would never, ever judge a parent of an allergic child. People are so full of a sense of entitlement.
    Jeannie recently posted..Banana Popsicle

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  46. Jessica @FoundtheMarbles Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Thank you, Cheryl, for such a beautiful post from the bottom of this allergy Mom’s heart.

    I hope your son is feeling better today.
    Jessica @FoundtheMarbles recently posted..Thoughtful Thursday! Talk to Me

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  47. wendy @ mama one to three Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    oh dear! my oldest has a peanut allergy–we discovered this on vacation on cape cod about 2 yrs ago. it was terrifying. we are lucky, she doesn’t seem to react to things other than foods with peanuts… I can be a little lax about checking labels. I feel for you. I never understood (even before i was an allergy mom) why other parents object to anything that would keep another child safe. it’s bizarre. good luck!
    wendy @ mama one to three recently posted..Who’s Your Nanny? (guest post at Lauren Nicole Gifts)

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  48. Theta Mom Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Oh Cheryl, how I understand every single word of this post. SO glad to hear Sawyer is ok and I am also so happy to see another mom who totally GETS IT blog about this.

    As you know, I too deal with this every single day. My son recently started K and I already saw the eye rolling as they turned his classroom into a nut-free environment. As much as their snarky attitude bothers me (yes, there is more to life for their child than a fracking PB&J sandwich), I can only hope that we are raising a new generation – full of empathy, compassion and understanding. Perhaps our children will be the ones to get this right…

    Thanks for writing about a topic near and dear to my heart. Keep fighting the good fight – I will proudly stand alongside you.

    xoxoxo

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  49. Good Golly Miss Holly! Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I used to think parents were being too precious until it came to peanut butter, nuts, etc … until I had babies of my own. If my babies were allergic, I would do every little thing in my power to ensure they are safe. Not helicopter parenting, just looking out for your babies x
    Good Golly Miss Holly! recently posted..Things I know; The long lost love edition.

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  50. Stacey Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I think many of those eye-rolling people don’t believe in food allergies or don’t understand they’re deadly. I hear a lot of “When we were kids there were no peanut allergies. Where did all these allergy kids come from?”

    When I was a preschool teacher I had a child with peanut allergies in my class but, for whatever reason, the school wouldn’t make our room nut free. Every time that boy coughed or itched or looked pinker than usual we freaked out and hovered over him with the epi-pen within reach. I can only imagine what things were like for his parents.
    Stacey recently posted..Sweetness

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  51. Elena Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    So glad Sawyer is better– and yes…you are so right. He is a stunning, handsome child…and these people that can only think about their own kids that cannot brings treats to school or whatever they want to complain about–they do not get it. I was engaged a very long time ago to someone that had a tremendous nut allergy. I have never stopped reading labels since. Sending you hugs!
    Elena recently posted..Suriving the First Day of School

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  52. My Inner Chick Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    —I work for the school district and beleive me, We ARE SO strict about the NO PEANUT policy. Most parents want to help and have no problem with this regulation. Loved this post. x
    My Inner Chick recently posted..Be Nice! Or I’ll Post About You In My Blog.

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  53. Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I hope Sawyer is on the mend. And well said. Thank You.
    Rudri Bhatt Patel @ Being Rudri recently posted..A Postcard From Paris

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  54. Celeste@MomBodFitness Says:

    September 8th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

    Thanks for these words. I didn’t understand all this until my 3rd had allergies. My 2 year old daughter has a dairy allergy combined with mastocytosis. Her reactions can be unpredictable, but luckily she has only had one epi-pen episode and I know the reactions only come if she has a large amount of dairy. I’m so intriqued in the latest research about whether (some) kids can take tiny amounts to help the body accept the foreign allergen. I’ll be working with a masto/allergy doc here in the O.C. Do you have any thoughts on doing this type of treatment?

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  55. Paulette Says:

    September 9th, 2011 at 9:31 am

    Well put! I’m blessed that none of my kids have any severe food allergies. I do however know some that do.

    I have a friend who has kids w/gluten problems. Only 2 of 4 her kids are not sensitive to it at this time. Because of the way her older daughters are being treated in their group she’s forming a group herself. It amazes me the stupidity and meanness that goes along with these sorts of things. 2 perfectly good girls and their Mom feeling like outcasts and having to provide their own food/snacks for group functions because someone else can’t be bothered to buy snacks/food they all can eat! OR at the very least provide an option for them. It’s enough to make one wonder, like your post. what if it were your kid?
    Paulette recently posted..Writer’s Workshop ~ First Day of School 2011

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  56. Melanie Says:

    September 10th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Cheryl,

    So well said. I’m one of those “lucky” ones that don’t have to deal with serious allergies but have several good friends with kids who do so I so get it. It’s just still surprising to me how other people don’t – especially those with kiddos of their own.

    So sorry Sawyer had to tackle his enemy (and you guys had a rough night) that night but I’m so glad he overcame it.
    Melanie recently posted..It’s Been Awhile…

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  57. Merry120 Says:

    September 11th, 2011 at 2:15 am

    What a wonderful post! I am so glad he is okay. We are lucky. Evan doesn’t have any food allergies & my stepdaughter has one to shellfish which is pretty easy to avoid. Our preschool is peanut and chocolate free. I’ve found it harder to comply with the chocolate rule than the peanut. Thankfully it has become much easier to make sure things are peanut free. I definitely do NOT want to send something that will hurt someone. It’s so scary & I worry about accidental contamination.

    Unfortunately I think lots of schools make it worse for kids with allergies by passing wide blanket rules that they don’t explain to parents. One of my friends schools made a blanket rule that no treats could be brought in to the classroom (none…not just baked goods). They all had to be purchased through the school. While I understand what they were trying to do, this is a very poor area so it cut many out of being able to do anything for their child at birthdays. This led to an uproar and unfairly the allergic kids got the brunt.

    It’s a horrible situation. I can see the uproar but like your post so eloquently says…..he’s a kid not an allergy & he deserves to be safe.
    Merry120 recently posted..WipeOut! Evan Style

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  58. Kir Says:

    September 11th, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I am so glad and know I am so lucky that the twins have no food allergies, and I never roll my eyes or not remember to not bring anything into school that would hurt another child. I don’t ever want a mom, like you, to worry because of something I’ve done. We are all lucky to have our children..it is our jobs to keep all children safe.
    Kir recently posted..9/11: What I Remember: Endings & Beginnings

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  59. Anastasia Says:

    September 16th, 2011 at 8:22 am

    I use to work at a bakery that catered to people with allergies, gluten-free, peanut, soy. you name it. And we were very diligent, we had different pans and trays and tables for certain products to make sure they didn’t get contaminated. So now when I see places just putting the spoon from the nuts into the sprinkles, I am totally that mom and demand they fix it and my kids don’t even have any allergies.
    Anastasia recently posted..How Not To Break Up With Someone-Red Writing Hood

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  60. Jason Says:

    April 7th, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Thanks for posting/sharing/blogging this. I just discovered the site. I am the parent of a child recently diagnosed with a severe, severe peanut allergy. Your blog – especially the attendance at the baseball game really helps. (my son LOVES baseball, and he is really good at it – for a 6 year old – second season in little league.) I am looking forward to taking him to his first game this season and fostering his love for baseball.

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