author of Feeding Eden

“What are you? My mother?!”

Last week I visited a friend who was leaving the next day to fly from NYC to Los Angeles with her two children. During their vacation they were going to stay with friends, rent a camper van on the beach and move about between various locations. "So you're packed?" I asked.

"No. I'll pack later."
It was 4:00 pm. "When? When is your flight?"
"Tomorrow afternoon. We're going out tonight but I'll pack a little before we go and then after I get back from the gym in the morning." I couldn't help it. My face froze into visible alarm. "What!? I'll get it done. Now you're stressing me out!" She joked, "What are you? My mother?!"
Of course. I had forgotten how other parents can travel - - with the ability to buy airport snacks and eat in restaurants -- to bring little more than chewing gum on the plane, rather than two Epipens, two asthma inhalers, dissolvable tablets of Benadryl -- to show up as a house guest and without worrying about taking up too much of their refrigerator space with the groceries you are about to purchase . . . these are the freedoms of some parents.
My family is going to Florida in a few weeks. Some of the tasks I will complete before getting on the airplane:
1) Email with the hotel Food and Beverage Manager with a list of ten plus questions regarding the hotel restaurants; the bread and cereals served at the buffet breakfasts; whether there are hard boiled eggs at the buffet breakfasts; and what foods are in the fryer at the beach stand restaurant 2) Refill my son's inhaler prescriptions so he has an extra set for plane and luggage check 3) Make duplicates of our food allergy restaurant cards for handing to our server 4) Telephone the managers of each restaurant we may want to go to and discuss allergic accommodations 5) Stash quantities of non-perishable allergen-free chocolate bars in the suitcases for desserts when we go out to eat 6) Pre-organize a carry on bag and make duplicates of our medical permission form to carry liquid medications (Epi and inhalers) 7) Locate the nearest supermarket to purchase rice milk to stash in room refrigerator 8) make duplicates of all prescriptions just in case...
My point? Of course I don't mind the doing. I only mind the reasons behind every one of those tasks. Just like any mother.