We’ve had a string of infractions lately that have added a few more gray hairs. Talk about learning to trust God with my children…
Every time I leave her in the care of others, prayers are whispered that she will be safe.
Last week, I got a call from her nursery school: “We were tracing letters of the alphabet in flour and….” Ugh, I already knew what was coming.
Then today I got a call from the school where Hope is a peer model: “She ate another child’s chicken nugget and instantly broke out in hives around her mouth…”
In her almost 3 years of life, Hope has been sickened enough times by touching/eating a forbidden food to know better than to just put anything in her mouth. She has learned to be very careful, to question foods that are unfamiliar. When asked, she can list ‘nuts, eggs, dairy, wheat, soy and sometimes corn’ as the foods she’s allergic to. So I was surprised to hear that she had eaten a chicken nugget without hesitation.
When I got to the school to pick her up, my friend Dawn told me that Hope has the same lunch bag as another child’s. Their bags got mixed up and Hope ended up eating the nugget. I understood the mix-up, but was still confused. When I saw Hope, I asked her what happened. (At this point she’d already received a good dose of Benadryl and was doing fine. Thankfully there was nothing in the nugget that would cause anaphylaxis.)
She said sadly, “I thought it was my surprise. I thought I wasn’t allergic anymore.”
On school days, I always pack a “surprise” in her lunch.
She is such a good sport. I learn a lesson from her every time I watch her at a birthday party. While other children enjoy pizza, cake and ice-cream without a second thought, she is content to eat her rice and gluten-free pretzels. There have been times when I have wanted to utter a “Woe is me” on her behalf. But she never complains, never compares, she’s just happy to be there.
“Hope, baby,” I said. “You’re still allergic.”
Her head was down, but I could see the worry in her eyes.
“I’m not mad, honey. We’ll go home and Mommy will make some of your special nuggets and we’ll watch Strawberry Shortcake. O.K.?”
Then a grin popped onto her face,
“Well, Praise the Lord!” she declared.
Children’s Hospital Boston recently published an article on Fighting Food Allergies.