There is nothing fiercer than a mother fighting to protect her child from harm! And back 30 years ago…in the “dark ages” of food allergy understanding and treatment…eliminating all food was NOT an option, anymore than it is today! Food is both a necessity and the source of great pleasure.
Reflecting back on the years, my husband and I were blessed by the lack of easy access to technology; by the absence of anyone in “our circle “ with similar allergies; and by an amazing group of caring family and friends. The greatest gift of all was the wisdom of a nurse educator at the allergists’ office at Children’s Hospital in Boston. It was through our time with her that we developed our unwavering philosophy of parenting a child with anaphylactic food allergies. We only saw her a few times, but her words have stayed with us to this day. She said that we would need to consider the life we wanted for our child in determining our approach to all decisions of food safety. As there really was no “bubble wrap” to protect our daughter from risk 100%, we knew that we wanted her to have all of the protection we could provide her with, and at the same time for her to have all of the experiences that would form her into the amazing adult that she has become! A daunting, often lonely road….surprisingly rich with growth all along the way. My daughter has spent the summers at sleepover camp, learned the allergy rules for dating, gone to college and grad school, negotiated many different living and cooking environments, lived on multiple continents and resided in cities where English is not understood or spoken. While she learned so long ago to ask the right people the right questions; to trust her gut on her allergy comfort level; and how to always be prepared…she has had her share of adventures! So…this is only her mom’s first post. There will be more to come!