It's National Food Allergy Awareness Week. This means we can write a blog post about food allergies and rather than getting dismissed, it will be one of umpteen articles about food allergies that will be dismissed. Hooray!
Of course it's also National women's health week, National hospital week, National nursing home week, National Police week, National women's poker week and National Salvation Army week, but then there's no limit to how many special things a week can be, is there? Plus we made one of those up.
Now that we've gotten the requisite cynicism out of the way, we wanted to take a moment to make people aware of the huge impact that a NON-food allergic parent can have on a family's life.
See, we're pains in the ass. We know this. Having us over for dinner means getting quizzed by a neurotic mom about ingredients well in advance, worrying about what might have touched what in your kitchen when you actually cook, and making what was intended to be a friendly dinner invite into a ridiculously inconvenient proposition altogether.
We know this. We get it. Every day of our lives is filled with having to decide if that restaurant is doable, fielding questions from teachers or other parents on what she can eat for yet another school activity involving food that didn't need food at all, and dealing with the school cafeteria on a nearly-daily basis to check ingredients and confirm safe lunch options for that day. It's seriously exhausting. Scary Mommy painted a good picture on what it's like to parent a child with food allergies here.
We know you omit us with a pang of guilt from parties and dinner invites etc. just because well...you want to....you feel you should....you'd like to have us over.....but...it's so...damned....annoying. And you're afraid to mess it up. We get it. It sucks, but we get it.
So when another parent invites us and goes out of their way to accommodate, so that mini can come over to someone's home and reject all the healthy delicious food they eat and declare it "disgusting", just like any other picky kid would, while you are feeling deflated and silently cursing us for making you spend all this time and effort making accommodations for a kid who wouldn't eat anything anyway, we want to make out with you.
No, seriously, we want to make out with you.
All your hard work was not for nothing. It helped mini have a social occasion that (finally!) had nothing to do with the food, and let her mom have a normal dinner with a kid who could eat (or not eat) based on choice and what mood she was in, and not based on what might be potentially life-threatening. And her mom actually got to eat without worrying about whether or not her child might react to something.
So to all of you (and we are so fortunate there are many!) that have made this effort, please know even if mini doesn't so much as lick it, you have done a very, very, good thing.
Please do it again.
To the rest of you, if you ever see us walking around randomly kissing other parents, now you'll know why.
And next time you're on the fence about whether it's worth it, just cook for us, yo! Pretty please?