There ARE Still Good People in the World
As a mom of a kid with food allergies I spend a lot of my time bemoaning the fact that there are A LOT of really stupid, insensitive JERKS out there who can't see past the end of their noses when it comes to keeping kids with food allergies safe while still INCLUDING THEM in events.
(Wow. LONG sentence there. Sorry.)
But sometimes - just sometimes - there are people who go out of their way to INCLUDE Olivia (and other food allergy kids) and I think it's VERY important to give those folks a very loud shout out.
Case in point: Tonight Olivia is going to her friend's house for a cookie decorating and pizza eating party. The friend's mom (who is also someone I consider a friend) always ALWAYS A.L.W.A.Y.S. makes it a point to ask me what is safe and what isn't safe when she's planning a party. Even if the food is something they always eat at this friend's house, my friend always double checks.
Today (when I told her she was awesome) she told me she feels very protective of Olivia and always wants her to be able to be included and not have to worry about her allergies when she should be having fun with her friends.
To hear another mom say she is protective of my kid?
There is so much awesome in that statement.
You. Have. No. Idea.
See, the holidays are a tough time for kids with food allergies. For Olivia the difficulty comes from the fact that the are nuts and peanuts EVERYWHERE. Some are out in the open and some are hidden but still present in cookies, candy, desserts, everywhere. It's frustrating for me as a parent to see her face when she realizes she can't have desserts. And it makes me sad when I have to say "no you can't eat that" like I did at her classroom party when an unknown parent sent in homemade cookies (I had no guarantee that they were safe, so they were off limits.)
Last night we went to the holiday dinner at my parents' country club and she couldn't eat ANY of the desserts - some had nuts in the or on them, but others (like chocolate covered Oreos) were off limits because the "chef" threw out the packaging on the chocolate so I couldn't see if there was an allergy warning. (Seriously "chef"? WTH.).
But in the end, Olivia ended up with a huge bowl of safe vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup so I think she made out better than the rest of us. Even still, she was once again singled out because of what she can't eat. And that sucks.
So when a parent makes it a point to include Liv....it's a big freaking deal.
Anyway....to everyone out there who makes it a point to include Olivia (and all the other food allergy kids in your life) THANK YOU. A million billion times - thank you.
And if your child wants to invite a friend over to your house and that friend has food allergies, be kind. Call the parents and ask what you can do to make that play date or birthday party fun and safe for all the kids.
Because sometimes, it really does take a village.