One of the very unexpected outcomes of having a child with multiple severe food and environmental allergies is the community I have found myself in because of them. Allergies tethering us together like the life line of a boat. I was fortunate enough this week to partake in a virtual meet up with other allergy parents whose children all suffer from a severe food allergy. Some had multiple allergies, others were just dealing with one or two. In a very strange way, even though I’d only just met theses people, and only virtually at that, I felt like I had known them all my life! I guess because for most of us, it feels like we can’t even imagine our lives previous to being a parent, and the journey of an allergy parent is often very similar. Our conversation easily flowed between the highs and lows of being an allergy parent and soon moved beyond that to just a conversation about being a prent to young children, which we all know has its very own set of highs and lows. We discussed our pasts, presents and futures, some revealing their new business plans, others how they wanted to ring their husbands neck! It was a breath of fresh air, in those three hours, to see the nodding heads of other parents understanding the anxiety around having your family invited to a resturaunt for dinner, or having to hold your child’s arm for a painful skin prick test, the anticipation that you might soon be rushing to hosptial when your child is trying a new food. All of which we had all experienced many times.
I’m lucky enough to have people in Harrisons life who do their utter most best to keep him safe, not just family, but friends, teachers, sometimes even complete strangers. I have talked incessantly to all of them about Harrisons allergies and I am very grateful to all their ears for the hours they’ve endured listening to me drone on, but to talk to other mums who really understood our reality was just something else. These are mums that on any other walk of life I wouldn’t have met. Spread across the country we each sat in our respective living rooms, kitchens, children’s play rooms, talking and drinking into the wee hours of the morning.
Thank you for welcoming me into your community, I look forward to many more virtual meet ups and hopefully one day we’ll be lucky enough to meet in the real world too!