The other day I was trolling facebook, as one might do when a child isn't climbing on them or demanding their attention. I came across a post on a mom's board that caught my attention immediately. Allergy related of course. The parent was upset that she received an email saying that she was not allowed to send tree nuts or eggs in her daughter's lunches. Her daughter was entering junior kindergarten, so the rules were new to her, and the email came the Friday before school started (totally not ideal, so I understand her frustration). She asked if she really had to cater to the child with severe allergies or not, and whether or not she could switch her daughter out of the class.
Anyways long story short, it got a whole lot of comments. A whack load. Most extremely supportive and empathetic towards the allergy community and for that and so much more I want to say, THANK YOU. Here is my open letter to let everyone know how appreciated they truly are.
Thank you to every parent making exceptions in their kids lunches to keep my child (and all the other allergy kids) safe.
Thank you for teaching your children about the dangers of food allergies and raising awareness even if you don't have a child at risk. Raising kids who are understanding and accepting of other people's differences is such a parenting success.
Thank you for getting your kids to wash their hands and brush their teeth really well before coming to school after eating a peanut butter or tree nut butter sandwich. The extra effort to keep my child safe does not go unnoticed. Every day that he comes home safely is a win in my books.
Thank you for asking before feeding my child anything. I appreciate your understanding that his allergies are serious and you might not know everything about them. I truly love the extra caution.
Thank you to every parent who has ever asked if there is something special they can make my child or bring him at a birthday party or bbq. The fact that you are thinking ahead and care enough to ask makes my heart feel warm and fuzzy and brings tears to my eyes.
Thank you to anybody who goes out of their way to get alternative treats for halloween that my child might be able to enjoy. The fact that you are thinking about including all kids, is such a special and wonderful thing. Allergy parent's don't expect this, but when it happens it makes our souls happy (and our kids too).
Thank you to the mom at daycare who brought in special decorations that I could add to my son's milk and egg free cupcakes at her daughter's birthday celebration. I love that you wanted him to feel included like the other kids. What a giant heart you have. This gesture seriously still brings me to tears.
Thank you to my mom who always makes dinner modifications to make sure my kids are safe. For every alternative dinner dish and dessert you've made, it is so appreciated.
Thank you to every teacher that checks kids lunches, and makes sure they aren't sharing anything with my child. Thank you for making the school day a little less daunting for allergy parents like myself. Thank you for keeping my child and every child safe when they are in your care.
Thank you for believing that every child's life matters, even if it can be inconvenient to adjust lunches and snacks. I totally understand that feeding your child is not always easy, that some kids are picky and it can be a huge adjustment. Your child might have meltdowns, or go on a hunger strike; I truly appreciate the sacrifice you are making and how difficult it might be.
Thank you to everyone for understanding that this is part of our every day life, that it is not a choice and that it is really serious and life threatening. Thank you for being so empathetic, compassionate, caring and for making sacrifices every day to keep my child and every allergy kid safe.
Seriously, THANK YOU.