Sunday, August 25, 2013

My Food Allergies Do Not Define Me!

As the mother of two children allergic children, a husband with adult onset food allergies, and food allergies myself, sometimes I feel as though our family is the very definition of allergic.  We have to consider the impact of our allergies in every aspect of our lives, but that doesn't mean that is all there is to us - as individuals or as a family.  Very often, food allergies seem to be all that I talk simply because they are always on my mind.  I have to make a concerted effort to ensure that my Facebook page is not devoted solely to the topic.  There really is much more to me than just food allergies!  For my boys, it seems much easier.

School has been in session for 2 weeks already.  The boys have done the usual beginning of the year projects to introduce themselves to their friends.

No food allergies represented here!

My 8 year old came home with an assignment to select 5 things that his classmates could look at to learn about him.  He selected a dinosaur, a bug, Legos, a rock, and a car.  All items were pretty typical for his the age, though the rock was a bit mysterious to those that did not recognize it as a potential dinosaur fossil.  (Every rock is a potential dinosaur fossil!)  At the last possible second, he decided to leave the car at home so he could take a picture of his little brother instead.  How sweet was that?!

Favorites of an 8 year old boy with food allergies
Another day, we weren't even in the house before the 8 year old presented me with this list of favorites.  When I looked at the list of favorite foods, a wave of sadness hit me.  I don't know what I expected, but somehow it still hurts that we can't see the typical answers for an 8 year old.  I imagine that most boys that age would answer pizza, spaghetti and ice cream.  But he is only eating 3 foods right now, so he listed his favorite form of each.  Those are [Cape Cod] waffle chips, Brothers dehydrated Fuji apples, and raw carrots.

Of the three favorite things to do at home, riding his bike is pretty typical.  Thumper refers generally to any one of the wild rabbits that live in our back yard.  The boys routinely leave food out for them, hoping that the rabbits will come to trust them enough to allow them to get close.  (Yes, we have discussed the need to stay away from wild animals.  That lesson just does not stick!)  Worm patrol is the rescue of worms that are stranded on concrete after the rain has stopped.  He ever so gently returns them to the dirt, and if they've begun to dry up he will find a puddle for them so they can rehydrate.  I have learned not to expect to actually get anywhere when he's on Worm Patrol, because nothing is more important than a rescue!

This morning during a rare moment of snuggle time, I was talking to the 6 year old about school and friends and random stuff.  His favorite parts of the school day are also recess, snack and lunch.  Considering that he has just 4 safe foods, and that he sits with friends while they are eating foods that he has never tasted but wants to eat, it is pretty amazing that meals are among the times that he enjoys most.

My children are strong.  They are resilient.  My children are not defined by their food allergies.


  1. WOW. Such well-adjusted kids to do so well in such a hard situation. You're the bomb-mom!

  2. how much courage you gave me... how many of my questions you have answered me... thank you.

    1. Thank you for the kind words, mariza!

  3. “I feel as though our family is the very definition of allergic.” – I'm sorry you have to deal with that. It's good to know that you and your family are well-adjusted to the condition. Don't let allergy interfere with your quality of life, there are many ways to combat it anyway. Jessica @


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