Yesterday was my oldest daughter A's birthday (on the left). She turned 8! Last week, my youngest, Z. turned 5. Yes, February is a big month in our family. Happy Birthday(s) my little ladies!
It got me thinking about how far I've come in terms of understanding nut allergies. I'd heard of them before my daughter's diagnosis, but did not think we were at risk.
It's scary to hear that the child you thought was perfect has a serious medical condition, especially when it relates to a common food that most kids love. It sounds like a joke, actually. Remember that game, "Frogger?." (Now I'm dating myself.) The frog has to dash through a ridiculously busy street without getting squashed. It's harder than it looks.
That's what parenting a child with severe food allergies feels like sometimes. You're constantly dodging through traffic, in my case peanut butter and all its incarnations.
In the 4 years since we learned of our daughter's allergies, a lot of progress has been made, both medically and in society's acceptance of food allergies. That's wonderful. Sadly, more and more children are being diagnosed.
In the midst of the fun and activity, I thought about the other children being born on my daughter's birthday. How many of them would share her allergies? My future hope is that someday there is a cure. My other hope is that food-allergic kids and their families get the support and compassion they need.
In the meantime, you know what? I was always pretty good at "Frogger."