I have no dog in this fight, honestly. Emma and Abby could bathe themselves in peanut butter if they wanted to. They could it eat by the jarful and other than probably being really full, they would be 100% fine.
Not the case for children with peanut allergies, though. Not even close.
In addition to all of the planning and worrying and checking that mothers of children with peanut allergies have to do in order to do something as simple as sending their kids to school, they also have to combat people who don’t care that their child could *LITERALLY* die from peanut exposure.
I cannot imagine having to live with that kind of fear every day, and I certainly cannot imagine having to deal with people who seemed so callous about the life of my child.
Here are ACTUAL things I know have been said TO a mom of a child with a peanut allergy. I know because the mom these things were said to is Lisa, the other Dose Girl.
“Well, my little sweet pea will only eat PB&J for lunch, so that is what I am packing. It’s really up to your 4 year-old to avoid it, not mine”.
“Oh, y’all won’t be able to attend the picnic? Fantastic. We can all bring peanut butter sandwiches for once”.
“Can’t they put your son at a table by himself to eat? I mean, should his allergy really affect my child?”
Oh yes. All true. All said. By mothers. To a mother. About her child. The child who has a life-threatening allergy.
Can you even imagine saying to a mother whose child had cancer, “Hey, listen, don’t take this the wrong way or anything, but your kid’s baldness is really bringing my kid down. Can you make her sit by herself?”
You probably gasped at the thought of being so rude to someone struggling. And yet, somehow, mothers of children with peanut allergies are not afforded the same consideration.
Because, y’all, it is SO MUCH easier to slap together a PB&J and not worry about the child with the peanut allergy. I mean, come on, kids are really picky, so coming up with an alternate lunch is like really, really hard. And really, why should you be bothered with someone else’s problem?
Because you should. Because you can be. Because for your child to eat a slice of turkey or a plain jelly sandwich means another child gets to live. It means another mother can feel just slightly less fear putting her child on a bus to go to school. Perhaps she can wonder a little less if that will be the day that the emergency Epi-Pen in her son’s pocket will need to be used. Maybe even not spend every minute he is out of her sight imagining the phone ringing with the news that her child is dead.
It is really the least that we can do. The mothers whose children can eat what they want, when they want, for the mothers of children who do not have the same luxury.