Since I know that a lot of you have very young children with nut allergies, you've probably wondered how and if your kids can cope without you. I remember thinking after I received my daughter's diagnosis--"OK, Doctor. Can you now follow us around and tell me how to do this thing?" I felt so helpless and truly wondered how I could ever let my daughter out of my sight.
It's easy to feel that way when your food-allergic kids are young and dependent on you for so many things. I'm sure many of you have had the same emotions.
I always like to share the little victories that we experience as a nut-free family in the hopes that they'll reassure the other nut-free parents out there. Let me tell you what happened recently.
My daughter was at her BFF's house (across the street, conveniently) for hours last Sunday afternoon. This family is well-versed in her allergies, but of course my daughter knows to take precautions.
When she got home, she told me 2 things: she ate candy and made/used lotions from her friend's new "nature spa" kit--a holiday gift. I hadn't known in advance that she would be doing either!
Before the words "Did you check the labels???" were even out of my mouth, she said: "Don't worry, Mom. I read the labels on the candy--they were Tootsie Rolls. (This candy manufacturer has a nut-free facility--she knows this from my research.) And the lotions--I read those labels too. They were safe."
I was so proud and happy! I know she's almost 9 and she should be assuming more responsibility for her allergies, but to see her put that into practice is so great. It eases a little of the pressure off of me to know she's taking care of herself so well.
So for all of you with really little ones--they'll get there, too. Not that I don't have to be cautious with her still. But she's growing up and taking ownership of her own health--and she seems glad to do it.
Moms don't get a report card, but she made me feel like I got an A that day!