I saw something recently that said, “It’s National Ice Cream Day today!” and I cannot stop thinking about it. Now I know that sounds silly, but as a mom of a child with a severe dairy (and egg) allergy, I must admit at times it makes me sad (and more often jealous if I’m being completely honest) when I know my son is going to miss out on another fun or “normal” thing that other kids his age are experiencing, like actual ice cream and ice cream parties.
If I continue to be honest, I get jealous when I see other moms post ice cream outings or even donut outings and the whole family can go.
I get jealous when I think of how relaxing it must be that on the nights I don’t feel like cooking, to just load up the family and go out to eat, or even how nice it would be to run through a drive-through and pick something up.
I get anxious when we go to the playground and I have to be a helicopter mom because dairy-filled snacks are usually everywhere.
I get jealous when I think of how convenient it must be to not have to bring your own child’s similar safe treats to a social outing, school function, or birthday party.
I get jealous when I think of how awesome it must be to not have to check, and recheck, labels ALL the time.
I get sad when he tells me he wants to be like his sister because she doesn’t have food allergies.
I get sad, and worried, when I think about him starting kindergarten this year, and whether or not he will be able to advocate for himself or even bullied for being different.
I get sad, and anxious, when I look down the road and think about him starting to date because whoever he dates will also have to be dairy and egg free as well, because . . . kissing.
The list could go on and these jealousies are fleeting.
I say all this because I think it’s good for me to talk about it, as well as raise some awareness, but also it’s probably hard for someone who doesn’t live this life to understand that food allergies really do affect the whole family.
Our lives literally revolve around keeping him safe with what he eats and touches. If we make ONE mistake, there are life-threatening consequences.
On the other hand, we are so thankful for a healthy little boy, and two healthy siblings, because I know some people don’t even have that.
He brings us so much joy, and that wipes out the sadness that food allergies can bring at times.
Despite all this and our “normal” being totally different than what I thought it would be when we started this journey, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I know God made us his parents for a reason, and He has big plans for our sweet boy. He is going to do great things one day.
It was National Ice Cream Day, and we had some allergy-friendly ice cream with extra sprinkles to celebrate!