While speaking to a friend last night, I was told of an interaction between herself and her daughter (who happens to be in Cohen's kindy class). After packing her daughters lunch, she noticed her daughter going through her lunch box. Her daughter took out the sesame bar and told her mum she couldn't have it. When questioned about why, little Miss 5 responded by saying it had nuts in it and Cohen is allergic to nuts.
Her mum said she knew she couldn't take nuts to school, and she was aware of Cohens allergies, but this bar was okay. Her daughter still refused to take it to school as the sesame seeds looked like nuts and she didn't want to make Cohen unsafe.
When I was told about this by my friend, my heart melted and my eyes are tearing up even as I type now. While I agree there is so much to do in order to educate and raise awareness to the dangers of food allergies, let us not take for granted that our kids are our greatest tool for raising awareness.
Raising awareness to the dangers of food allergies and trying to educate adults about your child's allergies can be frustrating and upsetting, especially when you come up against some defiant and ignorant attitudes from parents who don't want to know or simply dont care.
It can be exhausting trying to control your child's environment by trying to keep it safe. That goes with anything we try to protect them from, whether it be road safety, stranger danger or food allergies. It is our responsibility to educate and inform them of the dangers. At a certain point that responsibility becomes their own (probably around the age of 30 haha).
As I dropped my son off to school this morning, I had a new confidence that he would be safe. Watching these little people interact with each other, I know he is among people who care about him. Maybe Im just blessed that he is surrounded by such a great bunch of children. ( answered prayer). Maybe this will change in later years, I can't worry about that now. My focus right now is on these gorgeous little 5 year olds looking out for each other. Somehow our kids seem to "get it", even when a lot of parents don't..
Sometimes we need to sit back and let our little cherubs take the lead. Out of the mouths of babes! They are the greatest asset in raising awareness and education of food allergies to each other . They are also our greatest tool in educating their parents. My hope has been restored for another day.