Happy Mother's Day to You, Food Allergy Mom
I know you...
You're the mom who sat in front of a doctor and listened to him tell you that your child is allergic to food. Any number of things may have brought you to that place... there's good chance this encounter happened in an emergency room.
And, your world did a little shift that day.
You're the mom who lays awake some nights, fast forwarding in time... wondering what it will look like for your child when he's not so little any more. Then, you stop yourself and resolve to take one day at a time.
But, those days sometimes make you sad. Your baby's childhood is a little more complicated than you anticipated. Sometimes he feels left out and different. He must constantly live with his guard up - and so must you. And, all of this makes your heart hurt.
But, you're also the mom who is overwhelmingly proud of your child''s resilience and strength... and you are grateful for the blessings that you DO have.
You've had vivid nightmares about using the epi pen in every imaginable scenario. And, you may even be the mom who can recall the scariest moment of her life without hesitation because you've had to use one in real life.
You're the mom whose heart drops when she sees the school's phone number on the caller I.D., especially if it's around lunchtime.
You have a million safe snacks in your purse at all times because you just never know. And, you plan ahead for EVERYTHING. Every school event, every birthday party, every playdate, every road trip. Spontaneity is not in your vocabulary, but you try your best to never let your kid see you sweat.
You stay up until 1:00 a.m. making safe cupcakes because you can't just run to the store and pick a dozen up at the last minute. You move heaven and earth to chaperone the field trips and help out at the class parties. And, in those moments that you just can't get it all done, you are the queen of improvisation.
You are the mom who other moms look at in awe. They may say things like, "I don't know how you do it." And, you smile and assure them that they'd be doing the same thing if they were in your shoes.
But, you are also the mom who shifts uncomfortably in her chair when the not-so-empathetic moms express frustration that there are "allergy kids" in their child's class. Yes, you are the one who holds her head up high, no matter the degree of ignorance thrown your way.
You reach outside of your comfort zone to have difficult conversations with friends, family members, teachers - anyone who needs to better understand how to keep your baby safe. You push when you don't want to because you have to. You know that there's nothing more important than advocating for your child... because that is the only way he will have to confidence to advocate for himself one day.
But, most of all. You LOVE your food allergy kid. And, you love him so well.
And, for you, Mother's Day is so special. It's your time to remember that every single thing you do to protect and empower your child is priceless and powerful. No matter how tired you are, no matter how discouraged, frustrated or scared you may sometimes feel... you are doing what matters. You are sewing seeds and they will blossom one day. "Just you wait," you think. And, you are right.
You are your child's hero, food allergy mom. Today and every day.