Thursday, April 12, 2012
Normal kid, kinda
Do you see this boy? The one in the white shirt acting like a goofball? That is my son. He is a normal 8 year old boy. He likes running, football, soccer, kickball (ok all ball sports), reading, singing, playing his French horn, playing with friends (well you get the picture)... regular kid stuff. What he does not like is having to feel like he is different. He does not like having to sit at a different table when he is eating, he does not like not being able to eat what the rest of the kids eat, he does not like having to have someone read the labels on all his food before he can eat it. Just because my kid has food allergies does not mean that he wants to be treated differently! I was at a scout planning meeting last night and we where talking about foods. We often do potlucks for our regattas and this year it was suggested that we skip the food part. From my point of view potlucks are one of the scariest things that a food allergy mom can have to deal with. I really HATE potlucks. For the most part I just do not go to them. So this seems like a good idea to me. But others where worried that there would be not time for folks to feed their kids before hand (I get this) and suggested we do bag dinners. Where in the past I might have just nodded my head and dealt with it later this time I wanted to stick up for my boy. So I said since we where going to be at a park (and it might be hard to get everyone to wash hands and all after eating) that we had to make sure that all kids washed their hands after food or it would not be safe for my kid. Lots of people do PB&J as a quick food and I get that, but if they are eating that then touching all the stuff for the regatta then my sweet boy touches it he will be sick. So one of the parents said well how about we have a separate table for kids with allergies and then have all the kids wash their hands. OK this is a fine idea, it is what would make him safe and in most cases I would be fine with that but with this we COULD make it safe and why not? We could just make it no food. Then my kid does not have to feel like the odd one out. Then my kid can feel like he belongs here. Then my kid can feel like this is his troupe too. Then my kid can feel like just another kid. I know this seems like a small thing, but to him it is a BIG thing (and to me also). In the end I won, kinda, we (the leaders) are going to bring safe foods (like apples, chips (which may or may not be safe never no, but cross fingers), and some cookies that I will pick out). At the end of the day I am happy that I stuck up for my sweet, lovable, goofy, football loving, kid but with all my heart I wish I did not have to. I wish he could eat anything he wanted. If nothing else I wish I could help others understand what it is like, because it sometimes kinda sucks (even if you have great school/friends/neighbors/family that gets it and does everything to make them safe....it still kinda sucks).
OK thank you for reading all that and letting me get it out of my system. It was really bugging me and now I feel better.
I hope you all have a safe day.
Posted by Zoë at 7:46 AM