Friday, July 27, 2012

Where a kid can be a kid

... Unless they are food allergic.

Recently we went to a birthday party at Chuck E Cheese’s. We had never been there and the girls really had a great time. As we normally do we packed a sandwich for Abby (actually Uncrustables… our favorite birthday party “go to” as well as her standard chocolate brownie from Whole Foods. While she is always happy with her spread I know it has started to bother her that she doesn’t get what everyone else does.

Having food allergies suck. Parenting a child with food allergies equally sucks. Watching your kid be the only one who had to have something different is oddly painful. Having to repeatedly turn down a piece of cake for her gets annoying. Having people apologize over and over for not providing a vegan option even gets a little annoying.

I think in our case it is a compounding effect. Not only is Abby different because of her diagnosis but then you pile on the severe food allergies and she stands out like a sore thumb. Her food allergies are unrelated to her RS (as far as we know) but sometimes you have to wonder. Is it possible (or fair) that she has to deal with two very life-altering diagnoses?

It is hard to watch her be so limited. I think the allergies bother me so much some days because they are yet another thing in her life that limit what she can do. She can’t run as fast as her peers. She falls way more than most five-year-olds. She has trouble making friends. She flaps and spins and rolls her heads. She says inappropriate things. THEN she can’t eat a slice of pizza or cake at a birthday party. Sometimes it feels like it is all so polarizing. Every parent wants their kid to be “normal”. Having multiple things that make her “different” can be rough.

Thankfully God made our girl extraordinary… in all the right ways. I have to remind myself that while she can’t eat pizza or run fast she has a beautiful singing voice, can memorize lines to movies and can become a character in five seconds flat. She isn’t “normal” and I love that about her!

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