Thursday, May 12, 2011

Risky Within Reason

*N* is 9 and allergic to just about everything except nuts and milk. Go figure. He has eczema, he gets allergy shiners, stuffy nose...the works. It's annoying for him and uncomfortable but not life-threatening.

Yesterday I performed the sacrificial act of sitting outside with him while he was playing. (My own allergies are making me want to claw my own eyes out which gives me much empathy for my guy.) He was gathering up dandelions and splitting the stems to "dissect" them. I was watching him so intently examining the plants, dandelion juice dripping off his fingers and I said, "You realize you're allergic to those, right?" He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Yeah, just like everything else."

You might think I'm being a bad mom but he knows how he feels. He has not been clawing his own eyes out. Sneezing? Yes. But his eyes look a zillion times better than when he spends 10 minutes around a cat. (If he sits next to someone at school that has a cat he gets swollen, glassy eyes.)

*N* wants to experience the world. He loves to be outside. He has lots of energy. He is fascinated by science and nature. In order to keep him from allergies he would eat nothing but rice (and nuts and milk, I had this conversation with his pediatrician who felt it was unrealistic) and live in a sterile room. If it were life and death, we would do it. It is not. It is manageable.

It's not always possible to protect our kids from every discomfort. I wish I could. It's much easier to protect them from allergens that the poisoned words that other people speak at and about them. It is much easier to teach them to look both ways when crossing the street than to protect them from other people's distracted or impaired driving. I can provide them with the tools to cope. For allergies, he takes medicine. I tell him about his worth in God's eyes and mine to help counteract the negativity of others. I talk to the boys about not riding with a distracted driver and set the example myself.

We do what we can within reason but in all things I remember that God is walking alongside us. Thank goodness for that because as a very imperfect parent (letting her kid play with dandelions), I need Big back-up.



  1. Oh my! The poor little guy! I can only begin to imagine how difficult that is for him...and for you. There is a child in LB's classroom who is allergic "to everything." My heart always breaks for him when I go to eat lunch w/LB b/c he sits at his own table. By himself. B/c of his allergies.

    Is it possible that "N" will outgrow some of this?

  2. Thank you. Fortunately, because his allergies are not life-threatening he is free to go and do and be who he pleases, we can just tell when he's had certain exposure. I don't know whther he'll outgrow the allergies and his current pediatrician is very blase about the whole thing. I feel for the kids who have to sit at their own table. If other people didn't have things he was allergic to, could they sit with him? There are peanut free tables here and N used to bring anything but peanut butter so he could sit there with his friend.