is letting go.
i read this article this week. and it broke my heart and terrified me.
a seven year old girl died after a classmate gave her a peanut on the playground. died.
i have a daughter with a peanut allergy. and i'm terrified.
when harper was about 2, i was eating peanut butter. i ate some peanut butter off of a spoon and she asked to try it. there was barely any left. the spoon had only a trace of pb on it. she licked it, i turned around to do something. when i turned back around she wasn't breathing.
i watched my baby stop breathing and choke on her own saliva.
it was the scariest day of my life. i can still remember the look on jimmy's face when he ripped her out of her car seat and ran her into triage.
i can still remember how frantic and out of control i felt. i can still remember the look on her little face.
now look. i know peanut allergies are not unique to us. i know that a lot of people doubt the validity of allergies. i know that a lot of people ask why so many more chldren have peanut allergies now. i know that many people think that allergies are exaggerated.
i don't know the answer to any of those questions.but i do know this. i watched my daughter almost die.
and that's all i need to know.
harper can be in classrooms with peanuts. she can be around people that eat nuts. the people in her class wash their hands thoroughly after they eat.
jimmy's dad once accidentally touched her with cashew oil on his hands and she had a pretty bad skin reaction. turns out she's even more allergic to cashews than she is to peanuts! i can't control what is on anyone's hands at any given time though.
i don't know what would happen if she ate a peanut at almost six. but i don't want to know.
i want to keep her safe. and i know i can't keep her safe. i can't put her in a bubble. but i'm scared to let her go.
i saw a group of people online discussing the article i linked above. and they were saying that this was the reason they'd never let their children go to public school. this was the reason they homeschool.
here's my thoughts on this.
i can't keep her safe. she goes to playdates. and sunday school. and she is around other people all the time. and i wouldn't want it any other way. she goes to public school (SHOCK!!!).
eta: let me clarify the above statement. i am a product of the public school system and a former public school educator. i was being tongue in cheek. i've noticed that many people tend to discredit ALL public schools immediately, which is sad to me. in the conversation i mentioned above, why were people saying that this is why their children don't go to public school…couldn't this happen at ANY school? on any playground? in any place in the world???
i can't keep her in a bubble. i can't keep bad things from happening to her.
there are a million bad things that could happen to any of my children at any time. and this thought is enough to paralyze me. but i can't stop all of the things that might happen.
all i can do is educate her. she has known from the beginning that she should NEVER eat anything that she doesn't KNOW is safe to her. she also has a pretty bad egg allergy. she's smart about it. but she's a kid. she wants to fit in with her friends. i am terrified that she might eat something to fit in.
so we talk about it.
and talk about it
and talk about it.
the school has an epipen. the teachers are educated.
and i make sure every day that she gets it. and gets the gravity of the situation. i don't want to make her overly scared and i don't want it to impact her social skills. but i do want her to think.
she's so smart about it. so cautious. she came to me yesterday with a new brand of pudding i had bought and said "can you make sure this doesn't have peanuts in it?" and it didn't,but she wanted to make sure. she's always been like that.
it's all i can do. teach her.
and let her fly.
but it scares me half to death.
thanks for letting me talk. i know this is long, but it's been heavy on my heart and i think i had to get it out. i'm so scared for her sometimes.
it is not in my hands.it is in His hands. my daily prayer… dear Lord…please keep my girl safe. please help her be vigilant and make smart choices. please let her not be afraid to LIVE to the fullest. just keep her safe.