My stomach tightens into one million knots every time my son leaves my field of vision. And this is not an exaggeration.
Unless, perhaps, he is at home with his babysitter—because I know my home is a VERY controlled environment.
Or if he is with his daddy somewhere—because his daddy loves him as much as I do.
But — and this RARELY happens (church is one of the only other exceptions)— if my son is not in my physical presence and is somewhere else in the world, I nearly lose my mind.
I know that the Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God…”
I know that the Bible says, “Fear not, for the Lord your God is with you…”
But the Bible also says, “Be wise and discerning…”
And these are the words that I, life-threatening allergy mom, live by.
BE WISE AND DISCERNING!
The problem lies, however, in the fact that I will not keep my son in a bubble.
He does not currently live in a bubble. Therefore, we have life-saving medicine with us everywhere we go—and, far too often, we see him have an allergic reaction to something that we JUST CAN’T PUT OUR FINGER ON.
A wise mom once told me, “You can keep your son hidden or teach him how to live.”
Mind you, this is when my son barely escaped death and woke up from his coma and was escaping the ICU where they were holding his body hostage—for good reasons—to keep his heart from failing and his lungs living.
So, you can imagine that I wanted my son to live in a bubble. But that is not the way God intended man to be.
He designed us to be interactive. To see the world. To enjoy his creation. And to live life to the fullest.
And because we DO want our son to enjoy life and live, we, my husband, Richard, and I, Brooke, have adhered to one VERY strict rule with our son to keep him as safe as possible.
It is this:
JUST SAY NO!
You see, we first discovered our son had extremely severe allergies around 7 months of age. Severe.
Head welting. Throwing up.
Not long after—body swollen and welted. Not sure what the insides were doing.
And, of course, more times than I can recall, welting, breathing problems, and, well, you name it===he’s lived it.
We HAD to get this reaction thing under control—And this is how we did it:
As soon as my son was cognizant enough, we started telling him, “Maxwell, this is OWIE!!! No touch!”
And we would ask him, “Is this owie?”
And he would respond, “Owie, no touch!”
It’s not that we want him to fear the world, but he does need to know that in the world lurks great danger.
Yes. We scare him about it too.
It’s okay, Allergy Parent, for you to scare your kid. Because scaring them is caring. And caring by scaring is keeping your child as safe as you possibly can.
We all remember the tragedy of the young teenage girl that accidentally took a bite of a peanut butter Rice Krispie cookie before spitting it out—-medicines, 3 auto injections, and air lifting her out of her location later—-she still tragically passed away.
I say this so that you understand—-YOUR CHILD KNOWS as soon as the food touches his/her lips and tongue that it HURTS. The food hurts.
BUT your child does not ALWAYS know, by seeing the food, that it kills.
The Bible also says, “Appearances are deceptive but God sees the heart…”
My friend, food is the same.
By appearance, it may appear safe and not harmful at all—-but what is in it that could kill?
Do you know?
Does your child know?
How can you tell?
More often than not, you can’t.
Therefore, it is mandatory as an ALLERGY PARENT to teach your child to “Just Say No!”
There is no question about it.
My little toddler of a son has been offered food by sweet kids ever since he could waddle around, but we have instilled enough life-saving fear in him to not even TOUCH the food offered to him.
You see, he reacts as well to contact on his skin.
Therefore, he HAS to be vigilant at all times.
And by teaching him to “JUST SAY NO” he won’t touch the item proffered by sweet children.
The children offering, they don’t understand, but it’s okay—-one day they will. If I am close, I simply say, “Oh, that is so sweet but it gives Max BIG owies! Thank you, though.”
Because it is kind.
But this sort of kindness can also kill.
And so, my allergy-rearing parent and friend for life, be adamant and insistent. Teach your child from the moment they begin to waddle away from your legs that there is only ONE answer when they are offered food—-
That answer is NO!
It may just be the one word to save your child’s life.