Many of you are fellow food allergy parents, so I'm sure you can relate to what I'm about to share. It's not meant for sympathy. I just selfishly need to get it out.
In just a few short weeks, my Little Miss will be turning seven years old. I can hardly believe it!
Oh, how far she and I have come in those seven years. I feel I owe my life to this little girl. She saved me seven years ago - from self destruction, from fear, from my past.
I call her my guardian angel for a reason. And I believe it with all my heart.
I live each day struggling to protect her. Not only because I am her mother, but because I owe my life to her.
I hate food allergies.
I hate peanuts.
I use to live blissfully unaware.
I was a PB'aholic - I could eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day and be happy. I didn't know anyone, at that time, with severe food allergies. I didn't understand.
When I read comments or even blog posts by other raving about "peanut this" or exclaiming that their kids eat peanut butter every day, I want to scream.
But not at them. It's not their fault.
I wish my daughter could be that free. Eat whatever she wanted. Go wherever she wanted. Not have to be scared. Not have to cry. Not have to feel left out.
I try. I try with all my heart and being to make her life special. To make her feel like she's not really missing out.
Deep down, I know she is.
"Sorry sweetie, you can't go to 'Jenny's' party because it's not safe where they're having it."
"Sorry baby girl, we can't go out to eat there with 'Susie' because they serve peanuts right on the tables."
"Sorry, no we can't go to that bake sale."
"Sorry, that summer camp isn't safe."
I feel like a broken record.
"No, I'm sorry." "No, you can't." "No, it's not safe."
"Don't touch anything here, it's not safe."
It's not safe.
It's not safe.
It's not safe...
Why? Why does it have to be that way for her?
Why not me instead??
What do you tell a child when they ask you if they'll ever be able to eat nuts or ever eat gluten again?
I don't have an answer. Just, "I hope so. Some day."
Until then, I will live every day making it better for her.
I know there are far worse things.
I know I sound selfish.
I pray to God every day. Thankful that she is healthy.
That the gluten free diet has been such a blessing to her issues she was having.
That she made it through this day free from any anaphylactic or topical reactions to nuts.
Each new school year brings new challenges.
I am so thankful, and blessed, that she attends such a fantastic and caring school.
The staff and parents are very understanding and respectful of her allergies and the need for a nut-free classroom.
Her friends are great. They look out for her. I've witnessed it first hand. I even shared a story at the end of last school year how one father told me he was thankful his son was in her class. It taught him empathy.
I wanted to hug him. (To use a line Jack once said in our No Nuts Moms Group) I was in peanut free love with this man. lol
As I said, each new school year brings new challenges.
New classmates. And kids can be cruel.
Maybe that's why I'm emotional about this today.
Last night, Little Miss shared something with me that had been troubling her.
That one of the boy's in her class, the one that happens to sit directly next to her, has been making fun of her lunches and snacks.
Not just making fun.
Actually making gagging noises and then leaning over and pretending to vomit directly on her foods. Multiple times.
Because he thought her healthy foods were disgusting.
She was almost in tears telling me this.
She hardly ate the last two days. He made her feel sick.
He made her feel sad. He made her hate herself and feel different.
Sorry she can't eat the same, and I'm sure delicious *rolls eyes*, hot lunch like you little boy.
I want to scream at him. I want to march to the school and protect her. I want to yell at him from the deepest part of my lungs.
I don't know if it's jealousy. Or just boys being mean little boys.
But I hate it.
(Note: After learning about this last night, I did write to her teacher to make her aware of the situation. She and I will be discussing further later today.)
What happened to the world?
Why must our kids suffer?
I don't want her to have to lug around epi-pens, inhalers, nebulizers, and eczema creams her whole life.
I don't want her to feel different. I don't want her to be left out.
I don't want little punks at school making her feel worse.
This is my child. No one hurts my child!
I need to take a deep breath today.
Remember our blessings.
I *do* try to be positive.
Look at her food allergy/ special dietary needs as a blessing in disguise.
It's because of her food allergy we learned to eat healthier.
It's because of her food allergy we started packing lunches.
It's because of her food allergy I learned to cook. Seriously.
It's because of her food allergies I started this blog.
That I met each of you.
That she gets care packages in the mail that make her feel loved and special, even if just for a few moments.
That we are in a cookbook together being released later this week.
How many kids can say they were in a book with their mom? That's something special we'll always have.
Life moves on.
Some days we will be happy.
Some days we will be angry.
But life moves on.
I will continue to strive each day to do better for my daugther.
To make her life the best that it can be.
To make her life the best that it can be.
To be the best mom that I can be.
To be an overachiever. She deserves nothing less from me.
To pray for her.
To be thankful for her.
To share. To grow. To learn.
I will continue to be here. To write. To post.
Thankful that you are following our journey.
Blessed for those moments when someone emails me or comments how much this blog, these posts, have inspired them. Given them ideas. Helped them find new items for their family.
Yes, it's "just food". It's "just stuff".
But when foods can kill your child, it becomes life. It becomes part of your being.
It becomes your passion.
Thank you for letting me share my passion.
PS: I still hate peanuts.