Woo...it's been a while, folks. My apologies. With Perry starting school, my brain has been a little frazzled.
Everything with Perry seems great. He's flourishing in school, sitting at the nut free table and he's got his "Allergy Alert" tag and medical alert bracelet with him everyday. He sits with 2 other boys at the nut free table and oh, how happy I am that he is not alone. But yesterday, something happened at school that made my food allergy mom heart break and I wanted to share it with you today.
I sent Perry to school with an Enjoy Life Ricemilk Chocolate Bar. I thought it would be a nice, safe treat in his lunchbox. He came home from school and I asked him all of the usual questions (how was your day? What did you learn? Etc.). As a food allergy mom, you always ask about lunch.
"Perry, how was lunch today?"
"The boys that sit with me say I'm not their friend anymore?"
"Why? What happened?"
"They thought the chocolate bar I was eating had peanuts in it and they said they don't want to be my friend."
"Did you show them, tell them it says "no nuts?"
"I did. The lady from the cafeteria had to come over to read it because the boys were telling everyone that I had nuts."
Okay, I get it. We teach our children to be safe above all else. To be aware and conscious of what people are eating around them. We have them wipe down tables and seats, we have them wash their hands, but when did we tell them there was something wrong with people who eat nuts? When did we give them the impression that people who eat nuts might not be friend worthy or nice?
We have Perry at the no nut table for safety, for security - to be with other kids just like him. A little nut free companionship with other kids who know what it's like to be isolated because of their allergies. I did not think he would be further excluded because of something I put in his lunch - that was nut free but just so happened to look somewhat like something that is not.
Now, these kids are in kindergarten so I'm sure that today was fine and all was forgotten, but I will not forget what happened to my little Perry, the peanut at school yesterday. It just furthers my resolve to make a big family sacrifice to drive 4 hours to a doctor who will provide OIT so Perry can be a little more like everyone else.