Since it's Valentine's Day, it got me thinking about the things we do for love as food allergy parents. Sometimes the things we do are easy, like baking cookies for the class. (OK, sometimes not so easy, I'll grant you.) Or tagging along on our young child's play date, just to be sure they don't have an allergic reaction.
Other things aren't so easy. Anyone who's faced opposition about our child's allergies from the school, resistance from other parents or even family members can attest to that. It's very hard to single out your child and also single out yourself for what many people perceive as requests for "special treatment." It can also be difficult to explain our child's serious medical condition to other people without either coming across as "Debbie Downer" or as too glib. I find myself walking that tight rope constantly--I don't like to dwell on the negatives, but I have to do everything I can to make the people who care for my daughter understand how to help her stay healthy.
It's not easy to watch your child have a severe reaction, undergo uncomfortable medical tests or even be denied a sweet treat that "all the other kids are eating."
Sometimes we get angry when we're not taken seriously. Other times we doubt ourselves--are we doing too much, or not enough?
Not to get all sappy on you here, but if you are a parent who loves your child, you already have everything you need to get through the hard times of caring for a child with a severe food allergy. Love for our child is what keeps us going. A parent's love is the extra ingredient in everything we bake and do. Nothing can surpass it, so remember that the next time you're struggling, as we all do, with food allergy issues.
And speaking of love, here's some love for my wonderful blog readers, a book giveaway! Sloane Miller of the blog "Please Don't Pass the Nuts" will give away one copy of her upcoming book "Allergic Girl: Adventures in Living Well with Food Allergies" to one lucky Nut-Free Mom blog reader. As an adult living with food allergies, Sloane has been a big inspiration to me as I raise my daughter. She is awesome and this book will be, too!
All you have to do to get a chance to win your copy is to post your own food allergy love story in my comments box. It can be about something you've done for your child, something someone else has done, something loving you wish for the allergic person in your life, etc. As long as it's about love and food allergies, it counts! Keep posting your stories on The Nut-Free Mom blog all week for your chance to win. Good luck!
In the meantime, give the food-allergic person in your life an extra a hug and Happy Valentine's Day!