Friday, July 31, 2009

Drained...

It's no secret that things have been busy around here. I'm physically drained this week. As a result, I'm also pretty emotionally drained this week. And, this has been a 'not fun' week to have a food allergic child. (n.b. - My purpose in writing this post is not to complain or seek sympathy. This blog is an outlet for me as much as it's a way to share and remember. I'll get to the point....)

I like to think I'm usually a pretty laid-back mom when it comes to Miss M's food allergies. That I can survey a situation without others noticing. That my behavior doesn't shout "helicopter mom" even though that's what I'm charged with being - at least when it comes to food allergies. That I'm not terrified, but only reasonably cautious, when PB&J's appear at picnic lunches with friends. (Please go read a little more about my experience as a food allergy parent in a guest post over here). Certainly, I make folks aware of our situation, but it's usually not a big deal. So why is it on my mind right now?....

We've spent the week at Vacation Bible School. There's a snack supper in the evenings. They serve some foods that Miss M cannot have. They also serve an alternative meal for kids that don't like what's being served. Yep, you guessed it ... it's peanut butter and jelly. I've found that this arrangements isn't at all unusual, and I've tried to be supportive of a friend who is also experiencing the same thing this week with her food-allergic child. Through our common experience, we are really supporting each other, and that has been invaluable!

At VBS, we have to ask for a 'no dessert' plate for Miss M's dinner. It's not ever been this tough for me, as a food-allergy parent, to make my child into a 'have not.' I think it's the daily repetition that's getting to me. Miss M isn't concerned that she doesn't have the same dessert as everyone else. (I pack a special treat for her, just in case she notices - which has only been one time, so far.)

It also makes me sad that Miss M can't sit with her age-mates at the VBS supper. Many of them eat PB&J for dinner, so she sits with Mister J and me. I asked Miss M's teacher to make sure everyone washes their hands (not just baby wipes) before they all gather for the opening assembly. It's more work for her, and I feel badly that we are an extra burden.

As we approach the school year, I dread that this has been a taste (no pun intended) of what's to come. That thought is starting to pull me down into the depths....

The bright spot in all of this is that I know I'm not alone. There's my blog friend who is going through the same thing this week. There's the church member serving dinner who went out of her way to be sure Miss M had a non-cross-contaminated dinner plate (I have learned she has a PA kid, too). There's the VBS teacher who admitted that she has no experience with food allergies, and took the time to call me this morning to make sure the snack she will be serving tonight will be safe. I'm encouraged that there are people out there who care. I'm not doing this alone. But it still stinks....

3 comments:

Jessica said...

*(HUGS)* MaggieMoo is lucky to have you!

Heather said...

Hang in there RL! You are doing a great job being a wonderful mom. I'm certain God has a plan for all of this...so remember to trust in Him. I'm thinking of you!

Lacia said...

Hi there, I found your blog through your comment at Jonah's blog I believe. I noticed you mentioned peanut allergy and it caught my eye. My oldest (he's 7) has a peanut allergy and let me tell ya, I HATE it!!! I am probably one of those "helicopter" moms that you mentioned, but you know what, I don't care. I will do what I can to keep him safe. This is his life we're talking about, so if I hover, so be it. I do try not to, and I do worry that I don't worry enough about things, and I do try to let him be independant and let him learn to ask questions and take responsibility of his allergy, but man it's tough. Anyways, just wanted to say hi. I'm going to check out some of your other allergy posts. It's nice to connect with others in the same boat. I live in Canada and things are way more strict here with allergies than they are in the U.S. All of our schools, and pretty much any place where there are kids programs (ie camps, VBS, etc) are "nut-free", which is soooo much easier, but they can't guarantee it completely. They can't always control what people bring in, but these places will not serve peanut/nut products.

Anyways,sorry for the novel.