May 24, 2010

Letting Go

Posted in Food Allergy tagged , , at 9:43 pm by 1ElleofaWoman

Over the course of the seven years I have dealt with food allergies, one of the best pieces of advice I have heard is from Ginny, the founder of my support group: “Remember, it is your child’s allergy, not yours.”

It’s also one of the hardest to follow.

I think I did pretty ok this weekend.

Jess spent the beautiful day playing outside with her three friends, all girls around the same age. After dinner, Y, a 9-year-old girl who recently moved into the house next door, invited the others to her house to watch a movie.  This was the first time that they would be at Y’s house and they were all excited.  Jess asked if she could go; I said yes and she happily went next door.

Then came the fear.

The house next door had not been kept up for several years.  Since purchasing the  house “as-is,” my new neighbors have spent all of their spare time fixing it up – new floors, bathroom fixtures, landscaping, paint etc. While we have spoken to them many times,  it was never for a long length of time. Additionally, they do not speak English very well. Since I often have a difficult time making people whose first language is English understand the severity of food allergies, I thought “How are these non-English speakers, who know very little about us,  going to protect my daughter?”

As this thought entered my mind, Jess came into the house and happily announced that she needed a snack.  She looked through the cabinets, grabbed the allergen-free snack she wanted and merrily went on her way.  While I was worried how my new neighbors were going to take care of Jessica, she was busy taking care of herself.

Hubby & I did go over and talk to our new neighbor (the mom), admired the beautiful landscaping she was working on and explained Jess’s allergy.  While my neighbor doesn’t speak well, she has no problem understanding English and she listened carefully as we explained some of the symptoms of a food allergy.

It made us feel better to talk to her about my daughter’s safety, but it was really Jess who was keeping herself safe.

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