Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My Kid Has a Peanut Allergy

Dear Moms and Dads,

Your whispers and eye rolls did not go unnoticed.

I saw them.  I noticed them.  And, I even understand them.

You see, five years ago, I was you.

I sat in a classroom listening to another mom in my oldest daughter's class plead for the life of her son.  Her son had a peanut allergy and any exposure to peanuts or a peanut product would cause him to go into anaphalactic shock.   The mom begged us not to send in any treats that contained nuts so that her son could be safe.

The thing is, I can clearly remember thinking, "Oh, give me a break!"   Her words echoed in my head, "He could die from a peanut."   The actual idea of it just sounded so ridiculous. A peanut?  Really?  I thought about how Abbie would not be able to bring in her favorite treat, peanut butter cups, for her special treat day.  I thought about the fun tradition of making fall haystacks with chow mein noodles and peanut butter and chocolate that we would not be able to share at the classroom Halloween party.  In short, I thought about how no peanuts would affect me and my own kid.

I was selfish.

Never once did I think about that other mom or her fears for her son's life.

And now . . . I am that mom.

My kid has a peanut allergy.  And just last week, I had to stand in front of you parents and explain how my Ellerie, my little full of energy, sprite-like ball of smiles, could be taken down by just one little peanut.

I emphasized.

I pleaded.

I even begged.

But, even in this day, when there are many kids that have life threatening allergies, I saw you roll your eyes at me as if to say, "Oh no!  Not another kid in my kid's class with allegies. . ."

I get it.

I really do.

Because I was you.

I was selfish.

But now. . . I am not.

Now, I am depending on you. . .

to help keep my 3 year old baby safe,
to keep my girl peanut free,
to keep my Ellerie alive.

In short,  I am entrusting her life to all of you. . .

And I am praying that you have an unselfish heart.



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  1. Oh, this gave me the shivers.

    It is something that I think is very hard to understand unless you are in those shoes, though(or at least, read blogs of those who deal with it- I know yours and a few others have opened my eyes)

  2. Don't you just love the curve balls that life throws at us sometimes that sneak back and bite us firmly in the *ss ... happens to me all of the time! Good luck with your year.
    Just an idea, take in a box of fun peanut free goodies for the teacher to have on hand for Ellerie in case people send in treats without having read all the ingredients - then your sweet cherub will never be left out at a 'special snack time' :)

  3. Ok, I am going to be honest and say that I was one of the mom's rolling her eyes but this totally changes things. I understand and make sure I never send peanuts when there is a kid with allergies around.

  4. Reformed eye-roller here! Neither of my girls have food allergies, but we have friends whose kiddos have allergies, so we get it now.

  5. beautiful and heartfelt pouring out of your heart.. thank you for showing us both sides. <3

  6. Oh I do hope for your sake that you end up feeling that your baby girl is in a safe environment...

    I can only imagine the fear and frustration you must feel worrying that others won't take her needs seriously.

    It must be terrifying.

    I wish I had better words for you. But all I can say is that I would not be rolling my eyes.

    And my 12-year-old daughter Karly came home from school yesterday asking me to make sure I pack her safe lunches so she can sit at the Peanut Free table. There is a girl who sits there and Karly and her friends want her to feel supported.

    (My nephew has a peanut allergy so we've been well-acquainted for 8 years as to how to keep him as safe as possible so Karly's a good candidate to become her friend.)

    I was proud of those girls and their attitude gives me hope that THIS generation of children will not receive the same eye-rolling from the parents of their kids' friends.

    Ellerie will be part of that movement. And I'm sorry about that. But also hopeful.

    Always hopeful.

  7. I sincerely hope you didn't find out the hard way.

    Fingers crossed that all of the parents will be sympathetic to her needs and not pack PB&J for lunch.

  8. I really think people just don't get it. That's what I have to think, because otherwise, they're just mean, you know?

    I am telling you, kids are usually very kind to those kids with allergies. It's the parents who can be the problem.

    I have no problem being The Crazy Peanut Mom if it'll keep my son alive. I've had more run-ins than I care to discuss, but my child is here and thriving.

    Continue to fight the good fight, to educate - whatever it takes.

    I know you will.


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