My goal is to help them to be kind and compassionate toward other people’s circumstances and to know that they are one part of a bigger picture. God has allowed them to have this in their lives for a bigger reason than the inconvenience it causes them. There is a lesson to be learned in this and I pray every day that we can help them navigate through it.
I’ve become an accidental foodie.
An accidental crunchy mama.
A label reader.
A buyer of things organic and things peanut, tree nut, dairy and egg free.
I never meant to be this person. The one who asks “What’s in this? Where was this made? How was this made?” And then, finally, the one who gives up and says “I’ll just bring our own food…”
But life changed a couple months ago. Life, three months ago, was all PB&J, cheese slices and scrambled eggs.
I never planned to become this mom…
The one who reads every label and checks every ingredient.
The one who won’t let her kids eat anything that I didn’t make, buy or know the exact ingredients of.
The one who carries an Epi Pen and instructs every person around my child on how to use it.
I’ve come to realize since having kids that there’s just not a lot in this life that I can control. This past December I was reminded of this lesson that I just can’t seem to ever remember.
Within a few days time we found out my youngest son has a pretty severe peanut allergy and my middle daughter has a dairy and egg allergy. That left me a panicky mess who wasn’t sure what I was ever going to feed my family again. And also left my husband and I sneaking more “forbidden food” treats after bedtime. 🙂
The past two months have been full of blood tests and allergist visits and ridding our home of all things peanut related.
But you know what?
It’s strangely brought us closer.
We’ve been trying new recipes (a lot of which bring hilarious rounds of laughter because they are just miserable fails) and learning new things as a family.They’ve brought lessons of compassion and understanding to our children. My oldest son knows what his brother and sister can and can’t have and looks out for them. My daughter knows that certain foods will hurt her tummy but just because she can’t have the ice cream doesn’t mean her brothers shouldn’t get some.
We also realize the sacrifice that other families have to make for our children to be safe. And we don’t take that lightly.I’ll be the first to admit that I was never a good “non-allergy” mom. My kids were unaffected by foods and therefore it just wasn’t on my radar.No, I wasn’t going to send a peanut butter sandwich to his classroom but I never thought about the things my kids ate when they weren’t at home. Now I am so thankful for the understanding and caring people who are around my family. They are truly concerned for my kids and their safety and in one instance have gone out of their way to call me to make sure a certain food is safe before giving it to my daughter. I am so so thankful for these people.
But I also realize that my children are not the center of the universe. The world keeps spinning even though we have to avoid certain foods.I never want to become someone who knowingly (or even unknowingly) teaches my kids that everyone else should look out for them.That they are the golden child that exceptions should be made for.This is not my goal or my intention and I hope that if I ever become this way someone (most likely my husband because he is the level-headed one who doesn’t ride the emotional roller coaster that I’m on most days) will put me back in my place.
We are still learning day by day and are so fresh to this world of allergies.I am thankful for other moms, some with allergy sufferers and some without, that have come along side our family and been a huge encouragement as we adjust. I’m thankful especially for a certain few that I’ve been able to call and text about anything and everything and not feel judged for my panic driven freak out sessions.And I’m grateful for another reminder that life is bigger than us and out of our control and that I need to see every circumstance I’m given as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Even though this was never the mom I saw myself becoming, and wouldn’t necessarily have chosen the path she arrived on, I’m pretty grateful that’s she’s around. I’m learning a lot from her.