Food Allergy Thoughts from "Don't Kill the Birthday Girl."

As I mentioned in my review of Allergic Girl, I have been increasingly aware of my daughter's emotional feelings of growing up with food allergies. This is a new approach for me as I've historically only focused on keeping the food safe and simply telling her what's safe and what's not safe.
(Notice the space ship on the 747 behind her)

I picked up another book at the library that discusses emotions relating to food allergies, Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life by Sandra Beasley. I haven't finished it yet to give a review or a recommendation, but so far, there are three points I don't want to forget.

1. Validation as a mom of a child with LOTS of food allergies:
"'Raising you,' my mother has said more than once, 'was a full-time job.' Soon after my diagnosis of multiple food allergies, the doctors charged her with narrowing down the list of specific culprits. My mother, the lab scientist. This is the first of many ad hoc professions forced upon the parent of a child with mother the detective" (p. 25-26).
Of course, every parent's job is a full-time job. My parenting job deals with life and death decisions at every meal and snack which many parents don't have to think about; I think that's the distinction the author is making.

2. It's good for her to have foods that she doesn't like, too.
"I could hate peas! It was the first time I could remember articulating the dislike of something I'd eaten. I'd grown up thinking of food in terms of two categories - deadly and safe. I had a few favorites, sure....But outright 'dislikes' were a luxury only others could afford.
"On the secure shores of my family's tan shag carpet, I decided I deserved to have dislikes like anyone else. The moratorium on peas would last seven years. Later in life, I'd take to turning down okra, uni, Israeli couscous, and red onions. I admit that cavalierly saying no to something on a menu still thrills me a little" (p. 34).

3. Reminder that fitting in doesn't always mean eating the same thing:
"When my birthday came, did I go around the room with a bag of hazelnuts and count out twelve to a kid (Note: she's talking about the kids at school on their birthdays walking between the desks handing out cupcakes while she was given hazelnuts) Of course not. I begged my mother to make cupcakes from the Duncan Hines mix, even thought I wouldn't be able to eat one. The point wasn't what I could eat. The point was having my turn to walk around the room with that big box (of cupcakes) in my arms, the same as everyone else.
"This was why I went trick-treating every year, knowing I'd have to give away everything...This was why I sometimes taped Hershey's Kisses to my valentines, being careful to pick up only ones with perfectly intact foil wrapping. I wanted to fit in; I wanted to do it the same way everyone else did it" (p. 53-54).

So far, I don't love the writing style of the book. It'll be worth reading the whole book even if I don't like the rest of it because I got these three points out of it.

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