Category Archives: food allergies

Paper or Plastic? Who Cares?!

Paper or plastic is the least of my worries when I shop for groceries.  And the truth is, I couldn’t care less about the type of bag my groceries go into.  My son has food allergies: he is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts.  Although some families choose to keep an allergen free household, some families do not.  I fall into the latter category.  My son is six.  He understands his allergies, he knows what he must avoid, he remembers the feeling of being stuck with the Epi Pen to combat past allergic reactions, so he doesn’t touch the foods that he is allergic to.  But there is nutrition to be gained from milk, from eggs, from nuts: calcium and protein, healthy fats.  Plus, they just taste good. So I buy those foods for my husband and I to eat even though I admit that I cannot hear the “Got Milk?” campaign without repeating it in my head this way: Got Milk Allergy?  And as I shop for milk and eggs and nuts I think of those items as “poison”. 

And so grocery shopping involves more than list making and running out to the store to pick up a few items.  It involves label reading and gut instinct checks and decision making.  It involves space planning and stage management, even traffic management skills, and it involves, of course answering the question “Paper or plastic?”

When you have a food allergy you do not eat ANYTHING unless you can read the ingredient label on it.  And because manufacturers can and do change ingredients often and without warning, you have to read the label each and every time you purchase something to eat.  Since I am the parent, and since my son is six and just learning to read, that job falls on me.  At the store this means I pull an item from the shelf and read the ingredient label and look for any allergen warning statements before putting the item in my cart.  Bought pop tarts last week and need more?  Well, you’ll have to read the label again before you buy them.  Even if it’s the same flavor?  Yes, even if it’s the same flavor.

Sometimes it’s not as simple as just reading the label.  An item may appear safe, the ingredients may all be fine, but then you notice that the same company makes a different flavor of the same item, and that different flavor contains one of your child’s allergens.  Consider something like biscuit mix or spaghetti sauce or cereal, as these items often come in different varieties.  The company that makes biscuit mix, and the company that makes spaghetti sauce also sell similar versions containing cheese.  How confident do I feel on any given shopping trip that the two products weren’t run on the same production lines? The label doesn’t have to tell me about that.  And even when I know what the company line is, because I talk to them often enough about their products, still, seeing the two products side by side on the grocery store shelf sometimes gives me pause.  So I check my gut instinct.  If I feel funny about buying something on any given day, I listen to my gut and put the item back on the shelf.  Maybe this week I’ll make biscuits from scratch.

Since my husband and I drink milk and eat things like cheese and ice cream and eggs, when I buy those items, I have to be a space planner as I fill my grocery cart.  I pay attention to where I am setting the “poison”, the foods that my son is allergic to.  In my mind I worry about them.  At home I have a system to keep the poison away from the safe food, but in the grocery cart, they all mingle.  It makes me nervous.  There is a chance, even though it’s probably remote, that the milk might leak on the bag of bread.  And the plastic bag sometimes has snags in it.  What if a tiny speck of milk protein got on the bag in just the right spot, along a seam where there is a tiny hole, almost too small to see?  And what if I make my son a sandwich and he reacts from the milk protein that leaked from gallon of milk onto the bread bag, and in through that tiny hole?  How awful would I feel then?  And so I am careful to separate the poison from the safe foods as much as I can.

And later, when putting the food onto the conveyor belt at the cash register, I am the stage director and traffic cop.  I load the groceries carefully, being sure to keep the poison separate, ever watchful as the cashier reaches over items to grab something that might better fit into the bag she is loading.  I move food back toward me on the conveyor belt, pulling back the milk, pulling back the ice cream, pushing forward the ground beef and the apples.  Bag the dishwasher detergent, the bathroom cleaner, bag the apples with it, the potatoes, I don’t care.  If chemicals spills all over the fruit I’ll wash it off.  But by God, keep the milk away from the bread, the eggs away from the grapes.

When I get home I read the labels again as I put the groceries away.  I write on the boxes and cans and bottles to indicate if they are safe or not safe for my son.  When I am tired, or when I have bought something new that my son has never eaten before, I hand it to my husband for him to read the label, a second set of eyes. A second opinion. A safety net.

Once more when I get ready to make something. I check the label once more, just to be sure.  Remember I’ve already read the label at the store, and I read it again and marked the food when I put it away, but still, I cannot help it.  What if I missed something?  And so now it’s three times, like somebody with OCD.  But you can’t be too careful when your child has food allergies. So read the label each and every time, and do that three times.  Keep the allergen containing foods away from the safe foods.  Mark them with a black sharpie, or stickers, red for things that aren’t safe, green for things that are.

And don’t worry about paper or plastic.  That’s the least of your worries.
 

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Filed under food allergies, grocery shopping

To Kiss My Son Goodnight

To kiss my son goodnight…  To kiss him goodnight, a peck on the lips or a kiss on the cheek without having to worry that a huge hive will appear, will spread, will swell his face into a grotesque balloon, constrict his breathing, kill him as he drifts off to sleep with me down the hall, unaware as I get ready for bed myself.  Unaware, until I go in to check on him one last time for the night.  Unaware, until it’s too late.

This, this is the nightly fear that only lets me kiss my son goodnight on the top of his head, where his hair, I hope, will serve as a shield, as protection from my poison lips.  My lips through which passed something my son is allergic to, some food containing milk, or eggs, or nuts.  I might have eaten it for dinner, or dessert.  Maybe I had something at lunch.  Will it be a problem?  Is tonight the night I want to find out?

I brush my teeth before I read my son his bedtime story.  I wash my hands.  Is that enough?  I ate ice cream for dessert.  Ice cream!  Why did I eat ice cream?  Did I wash it all away?  Could there be one invisible particle left, just waiting for an opportunity to jump from my lips or my hand to my son’s face?  The side of his face, where he might touch his hand, then his lips, or his eyes, introducing that invisible allergen into his small body, wreaking havoc…

How rational is this fear?  I’ve seen my son break out in hives from a kiss before. I don’t want to be the cause of that tonight. Or ever.

How rational is this fear? Tell me, how rational is it that a bite of food, or the residue left behind from a food, can kill a child? Live with that fact, everyday, and see if the fear doesn’t creep up on you from time to time.

Now it’s morning, or it’s noon, or it’s 6:00 p.m. and time for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  We eat at home, the food is safe, and yet… I cannot share my food with him.  He cannot have a bite of my pancakes, of my sandwich, or my salad.  My fork, it’s passed my lips, it’s touched my plate again and again and again.  Who knows what allergen might be hiding there now, from something I ate earlier, lingering and waiting for the perfect opportunity to get transferred to the safe food on my plate from my fork, the allergen transporter?

I’m cooking dinner, careful, oh so careful not to stir his spaghetti with the spoon I used to stir the pasta I am cooking for myself.  Did I just mess up?  I am not sure, but I cannot take a chance.  Let’s start over, dump his spaghetti out, start a new pot of water to boil.

And now we are eating. I’ve sprinkled parmesan cheese on my pasta.  Don’t get too close son, this plate, it’s poison.  You bumped the edge of my plate with your hand as you were laughing and telling me a story about something that happened at school today.  Get up, go wash your hands, just to be safe.  On the safe side.

Trying always to live on the safe side.  It takes planning.  Every. Day.

The safe side means: not sharing food, not trading food, not buying the school lunch, only eating food from home, not going to McDonalds, not getting a Happy Meal.  It means reading labels, three times over.  It means the loss of spontaneity. It means bringing a safe cupcake for my son to eat at his friend’s birthday party because a ride in the ambulance is not a fun way to celebrate your friend turning seven. It means not going to the birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, milk capitol of the world.  It means never leaving home without an Epi Pen.  It means always being prepared for the worst.  It means kissing my son on the top of his head, hoping his hair is a protective shield.

My family, like millions of others, live like this on a daily basis. Food allergies are on the rise, and experts do not know why. 

Frankly, I don’t care about the why.  I want to give my son a peck on the cheek without inventorying in my mind all the foods I have recently consumed.  Without worrying the kiss will leave its mark.

I want a cure.  I want the experts to continue the research they are working on, the studies and the experiments, the work they are doing to find a cure.

The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) educates those families newly diagnosed with food allergies, and guides them using a variety of resources, into safely navigating this life. This life where food is the enemy.  Where a single bite of food can kill.

FAAN is the organization I turned to when my son was diagnosed at 9 months of age. They taught me how to make those safe cupcakes, how to avoid his food allergens, how to read an ingredient label. FAAN keeps me up to date on the latest research findings, and lets me hope for a cure because as an organization, they are funding research studies, they are working with the experts, they are working to find a cure.

A cure that might one day let me kiss my son goodnight without fear.

So this Christmas season, as you are out shopping and wrapping gifts, as you are baking those holiday cookies with butter and eggs and nuts, consider making a donation to an organization like The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. To find a cure. So I can kiss my son goodnight. 

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Author’s note: This post is an entry in The Generous December Group Writing Project.

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Filed under FAAN, food allergies

Halloween: Then and Now

Think back a bit.  No, further… further…a little further…  Nice try.  You aren’t THAT young.  Go all the way back to when you were a kid.  Six years old, maybe eight, maybe ten… Remember when you got all overly excited about Halloween?  Remember the costumes that came in a box and consisted of some type of cape or gown and a cheap plastic mask with a really thin elastic strap to hold it in place?  And if you didn’t buy one of those you likely made your costume, or your mother did.  You were a girl from the 50s, or a cheerleader, a vampire or a witch, or for those who waited until the last minute, a ghost or a hobo.

Remember school parties and school parades where you lined up and marched around the school parking lot or the school playground wearing your costume?  When I was in second grade (or was it 4th?) I was Casper the Friendly ghost and I wore my costume to school and my mom packed Cheetos in my lunch and I wiped my orange cheese dusty fingers on my costume.  I remember my mother wasn’t happy about that.  I mean, who ever heard of an orange streaked ghost?  Even a friendly one?

How about trick-or-treating?  Do you remember how it took FOREVER to get dark enough out to go trick-or-treating?  It was only recently that I realized nothing significant had changed with the general flow of time or light and darkness.  Rather, it took forever to get dark back then because I was a kid ripe with anticipation, home from school at 3 p.m., and it didn’t get dark until nearly 7.  I had hours to kill.  Now I’m an adult and driving like a bat out of hell to get home from the office in time to flip the porch lights on, light the jack-o-lantern, and scarf some dinner down before the first band of ghouls come knocking at my door with their little hands all outstretched. 

Remember how it was almost always cold out on Halloween night and your mom always insisted you wear a coat over your costume to keep you warm and how that pissed you off (although you didn’t know “pissed off” because you were too young.  You knew it “wasn’t fair” and nobody would see your costume and “I won’t need a coat! I won’t be cold mom!”).  But often, your mom made you wear a coat anyway, because conventional wisdom and old wives tales said that being out in the cold would give you a cold.  Now we have global warming, thicker skin, and stronger defiance, and coats are rarely seen on Halloween.  Now we know that colds are caused by GERMS. 

Then remember how you would go house to house to house to house trying to collect as much candy as possible?  And sometimes people would go a little crazy and their whole family would be dressed up in scary costumes and sitting on the porch to scare you or they would play frightful music from speakers aimed out their windows?  Sometimes they’d answer the door in costume and that was always a little strange too.  A grown up dressed as a witch, or a pirate and you felt, but couldn’t express how exactly, you found it a bit creepy.  Not scary so much as just wrong somehow.  That was an adult, and adults were too old for Halloween.  They were supposed to open the door and give you the goods and that’s it.

Remember the candy?  The chocolate and peanut butter and caramel gooey goodness?  Remember the candy that you loved and the candy that you hated?  I hated the lollipops and the bubblegum and the hard candies.  Especially the red hots and jaw breakers.  Yuck!  Me, I was all about the chocolate and the peanut butter. Mmmm, mmmm! And years ago candy bars were bigger, weren’t they?  Sure, lots of people gave out snack size bars, but I swear that even those were bigger and then there was always that one house that gave out full size candy bars.  Everyone wanted to go that house, get there before the big candy bars ran out! I always thought the people who gave out the full size candy bars must have been rich to afford that.

Then there was the house where a dentist lived, and it was obvious it was a dentist because they always gave out toothbrushes.  Or the houses where they gave out pencils or stickers or pennies.  BORING!

There were also the houses where the people gave out homemade popcorn balls or candied apples.  They always looked good, but of course your mother wouldn’t let you eat them.  They were homemade.  Maybe the person who made them was a little bit crazy and had poisoned them just for fun, right?

When you got home from trick-or-treating you always had to dump your bag out on the table and let your parents look it over, let them inspect the candy for hidden needles and razor blades before they let you dig in lest you slice your tongue off.  Later on, hospitals started offering to X-ray the candy…

Those were they days, weren’t they?

Halloween now, it’s different.  Costumes are different for one thing.  Masks are considered dangerous, everyone needs a flashlight or a head lamp, the parents are all out supervising the trick-or-treaters (Halloweeners my dad calls them) to make sure nobody grabs their child off a porch and drags them into their house never to be seen again…  And with the parents out, nobody is home to answer the door and hand out candy at at least half the houses!

Schools don’t celebrate Halloween anymore because it’s too scary or too violent or it violates somebody’s religion or it’s not politically correct, or whatever. 

Some towns don’t even encourage trick or treating anymore.  They advise parents to take their youngsters to the mall and the merchants all hand out Dum Dum lollipops and bubble gum in a well lit place and they do this a few days before the real Halloween so the real day can go unmarked.  “You already celebrated Halloween, honey!  We did that three nights ago, remember?  At the mall?”

In my neighborhood we still have Halloween and trick-or-treating.  My son is going out this year dressed as Darth Vader.  He’s got a cool costume with a mask (but he will probably have to take it off to walk between houses) and a red light saber.  And he’s excited, as he should be. It’s kind of funny that he should be so excited considering that he cannot eat the candy he collects.  It’s not that I am afraid someone will have poisoned the candy.  He can’t eat the candy because for him, IT IS POISON.  He’s got food allergies.  He is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts.  And there aren’t many candies free of those ingredients.

So milk chocolate is out.  Peanut butter cups, Charleston chews, Mary Janes, Mounds, Almond Joy, Snickers, all out.  Marshmallow candies, out.  Chewy, gooey, caramel goodness, out.  There are a few treats he can eat: Nerds, Twizzlers, Dum Dum lollipops, a few others as well.  So my son will go out on Halloween night.  He will go trick-or-treating.  He will collect candy just like his friends.  And when we gets home I will sort through his bag of poison, (and yes that is how I think of it, he is out collecting poison) and I will take away all that he cannot eat. 

In truth, for all that he can’t eat he might as well be out collecting farm pesticides and household cleaners.  I am just going to take nearly all the candy away.  Some of the candy that I have to take away, I will eat.  Some my husband will eat.  Some of the “unsafe” candy as we call it, candy full of his allergens, we will re-Halloween-gift into our candy dish to had out to the kids still knocking at our door.  What’s left after that we will probably haul in to the office and share amongst co-workers.

As I separate the poison from the few candies my son can eat, I count it all, putting hatch marks on a piece of paper.  I’ll give my son something in exchange for all the candy he cannot eat. Maybe a toy.  Maybe a video.  Maybe we’ll pay him a nickel, maybe a dime per piece of candy we have to take away (hence the reason for the counting).  He did work to collect it, after all.  Anything safe that he collects, any candy that doesn’t contain his allergens, he can eat. Not all in one night of course!  That much about Halloween remains true.

You might wonder, “Why, if she feels like he is collecting poison, does she let her son go trick-or-treating at all?”  Well, because he likes it.  This is life, right?  Halloween is part of life and trick-or-treating is what you DO on Halloween.  My son doesn’t mind all that much about the candy.  He’s never tasted a Reeces Cup so he’s not missing anything.  I’m the one who’s had to make the biggest adjustment, the holiday no longer the same as it was in my youth, and certainly not the same as I’d imagined it would be for my son that day six years ago when he was a tiny infant, just a few weeks old, and I dressed him in a chili pepper costume for Halloween. He was screaming bloody murder but I propped him up on the sofa, next to a Halloween bag filled with baby bottles full of breast milk and a few pieces of candy tumbling out as well, and I took a bunch of photos.  I thought of the future, how one day he would like dressing up in costume, going out and collecting candy, sitting in his room and stuffing his face with chocolate until he was too full for dinner… Ironically, I am the one missing what he can’t have, what I imagined he would one day have.

My son is six now.  He likes choosing a costume and going trick-or-treating with his friends.  He’s excited this year to pretend for a while that he is Darth Vader, that he has the ability to scare others, all the while being a little scared by the scenes outside: the other children in costume, the adults that dress up, the flickering jack-o-lanterns, the frightful music playing at some houses, the mean scary guy down the street who decorates his house in an alluring manner then grabs children’s hands as they reach into his candy bowl.  He’s scared my son two years in a row now, left him crying.  We won’t be fooled a third time. This year we’ll only look at his house from afar. 

My son likes to hurry home after trick-or-treating to help me hand out candy to all the kids that come to our house. I am careful not to let on that I feel a vital part of Halloween has been lost, that I am nostalgic over what he cannot have. I can’t talk about the deliciousness of chocolate and peanut butter mixed together, of Snickers and Almond Joys.  I cannot suggest he is missing out in any way.  I am sure in some way he suspects this, but thankfully he’s never had those candies to know.  He’s happy with the hard candies and lollipops that I despised as a youth (and still despise).  He’s happy with a new toothbrush or some stickers, a pencil, a few pennies.  Those things aren’t boring to him at all, rather, they are things that he can keep.  And that’s fine.  And this is life.  It’s Halloween!  And besides, that’s the whole point of Halloween, right?  It’s supposed to haunt you, just a little.
 

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Filed under costumes, food allergies, Halloween, life, nostalgia, then and now

The Most Magical Place on Earth

“Really?  A whole week at Disney World?  Are you sure? I mean, what will we DO there for a whole entire week?” I asked.

But my husband was sure this was a good idea.  Our first official family vacation, just the three of us, where we would go someplace where we weren’t simply visiting family, should be to Disney World in Florida.  After all, Snags was five, a good age for this kind of thing.

I conceded, but I still wasn’t sure I actually agreed.  It’s not that I didn’t want to go to Disney World, it’s just that well, when I was a kid, Disney World meant the Magic Kingdom and we could do that in a day.  And we did.  Nearly every summer from the time I was born until I was in my early teens, my family piled in the car and we drove to Florida for our summer vacation.  We had family there, a grandmother and aunts and uncles and cousins.  And some of them lived in Orlando.  And some of them worked at Disney World.  One of my cousins was Pinocchio! Well, she wore the Pinocchio costume.  She wasn’t made out of wood or anything. 

So every year, we went to Florida to visit the relatives and we’d take one day and go to Disney.  To the Magic Kingdom.  Because at that point in time, there wasn’t anything else.  There was Sea World, but that’s not Disney. Epcot, MGM, and the Animal Kingdom, they didn’t exist yet.  So I was used to seeing Disney in a single fun filled day, but I had trouble comprehending how we could spend an entire week there.

Still we purchased the tickets.  Way ahead of time — we had almost an entire year to plan our trip.  Getting there would be the easy part.  We’d take the Auto Train!  Because who doesn’t like trains?  Yes, it was more expensive than flying, but it would be an adventure, right?  I’ve flown before, too many times to count. It’s boring. All that waiting around in the airport, and then the delays and flight cancellations, and getting frisked at the security checks. Been there, done that.  What I hadn’t ever done before was take a long train ride.  I’d ridden the subway before, but I had a feeling that just wasn’t the same.  So we’d board the Auto Train in the afternoon, sleep peacefully in our little compartment over night and when we awoke the next morning, we’d be in Florida.  And we’d have our own car with us!   

Our car was key.  My son has food allergies so we don’t travel lightly.  We carry boxes of food with us, and because my son is also five, we carry the requisite entertainment items:  portable DVD player and movies, books, markers, drawing pads, toys, favorite pillow and blanket, etc…  In other words, enough baggage to weigh down a plane so its underbelly can’t raise more than an inch off the ground.  Something I imagine other airline passengers wouldn’t like very much – driving a plane along the highway to Florida…

In planning our trip we also purchased the dining plan.  It allowed for more than enough food for each person each day, but I needed to arrange our meals.  My friend, a travel agent who specializes in all things Disney, suggested I make all of our dining reservations six months in advance, because you can.  Only, I couldn’t.  With my son’s food allergies we don’t eat out.  The thought of letting someone else prepare my son’s meals, of putting my son’s life in the hands of a stranger, it paralyzed me.  I kept promising my husband that I’d do something about the dinner reservations, and then I kept putting it off, even though I had only ever heard great and wonderful things about how Disney handles food allergies.  In a word, I was terrified.

With about six weeks to go I finally got up my nerve, called Disney’s dining number, and got us all set with reservations.  We were officially on their records as a family with allergies.  At each restaurant the chef would come to our table and meet with us, tell us what they could safely prepare.  I was encouraged, but still, I packed some food to take with us.  I had to bring allergen free food for my son to eat on the train, and then I needed to pack extra food in case I chickened out at dinner.  I packed enough food to get by for at least a few days.  We could always go to a grocery store if we ran out.  We had our car with us, after all.

The Auto Train WAS an adventure.  As we lined up on the platform to board the train, an old woman positioned herself in front of the train’s door, determined that she would be the first to board.  At first glance, other than the fact that she seemed to be in an awful hurry, she looked harmless enough.  But it wasn’t long before she revealed herself to be the crabbiest witch in the land.  Any time my son whispered or even blinked, as we stood out there on the platform she’d turn toward him and say “Shhhhh!” very fast and very loud, like an angry hissing snake about to attack.  My husband and I looked at each other in surprise and disbelief, and then in dread as we boarded the train and found that her sleeping compartment was next door to ours! 

Old Crabby rang the porter every ten minutes the entire way to Florida.  I am not exaggerating when I say she did this all night long.  I know this because I heard her, and I heard her because it is hard to sleep on the Auto Train.  Around midnight, Old Crabby rang the porter and kept pushing the call button even as he appeared in front of her.  She didn’t stop, even as he stood there and said, “Ma’am!  Please stop ringing the button, I am right here!”

Ring…ring…ring…

I listened to all of this though closed eyes as I pondered how I had thought the ride would be smooth, not unlike a ride on the subway.  I envisioned a peaceful night’s sleep where we would wake in the morning fully refreshed and not even an hour from our destination. Travel while you sleep, leave your worries behind…  But oh, how wrong I was!

It turns out that the Auto Train rides on freight rails because well, all the autos it’s carrying are freight.  Therefore, the ride is not exactly as smooth and light as I’d imagined it would be.  It’s rickety, crickety, loud, and screechy and the train shakes, at times, rather violently from side to side.  Neither the wine I drank at dinner nor the Benadryl I downed in desperation in the middle of the night helped to lure me into sleep. At one point, the ride was so violent I was certain we’d left the tracks and were hurtling through the woods to our death.  You can imagine my surprise then, when I opened my eyes a few hours later to find it was morning and that we had survived the great train derailment that never was.  We’d made it to Florida!

And Disney!  Well that is a magical place!  They don’t lie about that.  But my son had never actually shown an interest in anything Disney prior to our trip.  Not even once.  We borrowed and read travel books about Disney from the library, we watched a DVD on loan from a friend.  My husband and I started to get more and more excited.  But Snags, he didn’t seem to care one way or another.  And as we walked about the Magic Kingdom that first day he looked around a bit and smiled as he rode a few rides, but he didn’t seem terribly impressed.  He complained about having to wait in line!

That’s when I started to get irritated.  Where was his excitement?  We’d come all this way for complaining?  We’d spent thousands of dollars and endured Old Crabby and the shaky train for this? And we had to stay an entire week?  What had we gotten ourselves into? I wondered.

Later though, near the end of that first day, as we were heading to dinner, my son turned and saw all the Disney characters on stage at Cinderella’s castle. And that’s when the magic hit him.  He screamed at the top of his five year old lungs, “MICKEY!  MICKEEEEY! I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU ALL DAY!”  Had he been looking for Mickey?  How odd.  He’d never mentioned it. Yet if excitement was a firecracker, my son’s head was exploding right there.  Maybe, I thought, this would all turn out okay after all.  Then again, we still needed to eat dinner…  Dinner that someone else had prepared.  For my son with life threatening food allergies.  

I held my breath through dinner and tried to hold back tears as I watched my son eat his first restaurant meal ever.  Was his meal actually free of milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nuts?  The chef assured us that it was.  But if he was wrong, we’d likely spend the rest of our vacation in the hospital. I insisted that my husband try the Tofutti sundae the chef brought my son for dessert. “Taste his dessert!” I hissed. “Make sure it’s safe for him to eat!” Tofutti, a soy based “ice cream” looks exactly like vanilla ice cream and it tastes so much like it that I have trouble telling the difference.  My husband though, he can tell the difference if he tastes it.  So he did.  And it was fine and my son was thrilled.  Not only did he get to eat prime rib for dinner, he got a giant sundae too!  And because it was a character meal, he got his picture taken with the characters and he got autographs from Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore,  and best of all, from Mickey Mouse himself!

As our second morning in Disney World dawned my son turned to me and said “Mom, I thought this was going to be a BORING vacation, but I’m having fun!” 

And the week I had been so worried about?  It flew by but it was MAGICAL!

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This post was written for the Family Vacation Group Writing Project over at Babylune.

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Filed under Disney, food allergies, GWp, life, Mickey Mouse, vacation