author of Feeding Eden

Mamma Said …

Every once in a while, my son has a day when just too many events center around allergic food. Then I feel like Eden's pleasure in that day depends upon --

a) My magical abilities to both provide "substitute food" of equal standing and ...
b) My poker face during the cumulative hours of anxiety.

This month, Eden and I had one such day. It kicked off with a class to trip to Chinatown to eat lunch in a Chinese restaurant. Since he is anaphylactic to peanuts, sesame and soy, Eden had two options: Either stay back at school as a "special teacher's helper" or go with his class toting a "safe food." Eden chose the latter. But of course he wanted his safe food to resemble the pre-set menu. What kid wouldn't?
Okay Dokey. After much discussion we decided that he would bring our Chinese broccoli, eat it with restaurant rice, and sit next to his teachers.
I attempted to blot out my deluge of worries which ranged from my anticipation of Eden's hurt feelings (being the odd man out with his broccoli) to images of sesame oil and soy sauce creeping onto his fingers and then, into his itchy eyes. How did I vent my agitation? By making a dairy free cake! On that same day, my nephew was having his first year birthday party.
Oh. Did I mention there was a bakesale at school that same day?
But you know what? Eden was fine. He found Chinatown exciting and the trip equally so. His plastic baggie of pretzels was happy substitute for the bakesale fare. And later, in early evening, Eden's "special" birthday cake exited its tupperware particularly moist and fluffy. It was all fine, despite my ensuing mental fatigue. On such days I'm reminded that parenting really is a Verb -- with, or without, Food Allergies to complete the Subject.