It’s official. I’m that mom…the helicopter mom. I just spent the holiday season hovering over my 4-year-old hounding him about peanuts with what seemed like every breath I took. He gets it, you guys. The poor kid asked every single house we trick-or-treated if the candy they gave contained peanuts. He scanned every Christmas cookie platter we received for the deathly nut, and we threw our own New Years Eve party, in part, to have a little control over the food served. He knows that if he ingests peanuts, we will have to poke him with his “special needle” and take a trip to the emergency room where doctors will stick him, some more.
Yes, I’ve scared the daylights out of my son because I, myself, am scared to death. I worry for my son’s life and become ill over day-terrors. I imagine I’m not there that one time he tries a peanut ridden food without asking or because he was given incorrect information. I constantly worry that his caregivers won’t get to his Epi Pen in time, or that if they do they won’t use it correctly…then I turn around and pray that I never have to use it myself.
I’ve shared before that I used to be the person most likely to disregard allergies. I used to think people said they had a food intolerance for attention, or so that they could receive different meal choices because they didn’t like what was offered. I used to think, “Good gravy! Just rinse your eyes with Visine and move on!”
I was so VERY wrong.
Now that I’m the mom of a super hero who carries an Epi Pen, I wish other parents could realize the anxiety ridden turmoil I have when school parties contain my son’s allergen. I hope that anyone in our company knows that when I loudly remind my son that peanuts will make him “sooooo sick” that I’m really saying it to them; secretly begging for their watchful eyes and help in literally keeping my son alive. When I visit for lunch and my little guy is sitting next to a friend with trail mix full of peanuts I literally lose my breath. And, when eyes are about to roll out of heads, I hope that deep down the inconvenience of figuring out a different school snack or placing a dish in a hard to reach place is overshadowed by my job as a mom to protect the beautiful boy my God entrusted to me.
I’m asking on behalf of every mama raising a kiddo with allergies that you keep in mind the daily battles faced. On top of all the struggles that accompany parenthood, please remember that a simple food choice could literally mean risking the life of a child. Dig deep and find that sensitivity for children with allergies and remember that their caregivers are doing the best they can to educate their kids and you. Above all, please, please understand that those moms are hovering, and endlessly hounding, to keep from having to face an unimaginable consequence.
Feature Photo from Unsplash
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