“He’s still allergic.” I knew he was going to say it. The nurse had already spoken the same words and yet my heart was so heavy to hear them from the doctor.
Ben and I made the drive home from the allergist, him chattering away and me grateful that my tears were masked by the darkness.
My son can’t have dairy, gluten, strawberry or tomato. We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of his allergy diagnosis and I had pushed for the doctor to retest early. Because what if? What if he had outgrown something and we wasted six more months avoiding it while we waited the full eighteen months to retest?
And I really try and, for the most part succeed, to focus on my gratitude. Thank God Ben doesn’t have something worse like cancer. Thank God he doesn’t have an anaphylactic reaction to anything. Thank God he’s not allergic to more. Thank God he’s so much healthier since we learned about his allergies. Thank God he can run, skip, jump, talk, laugh. Thank God for this amazing, sweet, beautiful boy that is the center of my universe. Thank God. Thank God. Thank God.
But tonight, I’m just sad. I’m sad for all the Halloween candy my sweet little pirate will have to trade in for allergy safe candy at the end of the night. I’m sad for the cupcakes he can’t have at birthday parties. I’m sad for the anxiety that comes with any social gathering. I’m sad for the question I endlessly answer, “Mommy, am I uhh-yergic to this?” I’m sad for his face every time my answer to that question is yes. I’m sad for every time his response is, “It’s okay, Mommy. I’ll ask Santa to bring me one I’m not uhh-yergic to.” I’m sad for our loss of spontaneity. I’m sad for no more pizza dates with my favorite boy. I’m sad for my constant hovering when we’re out and about, surrounded by all these foods that so easily make him sick. I’m sad that I can’t treat him to a Happy Meal just because. I’m sad that I get annoyed when people don’t get just how much stuff has his allergens in them. I’m sad for his limited choices when we go anywhere. I’m sad that I get frustrated when people oversimplify the whole thing with suggestions like he just needs gluten free pizza crust without thinking about the cheese and the tomato sauce. I’m sad that I can’t watch him discover so many foods that are a regular part of other kids’ childhoods. I’m sad for our trips to the boardwalks and amusement parks. I’m sad that I can’t make scone with him using the recipe that’s been passed down from generation to generation in my family. I’m sad that he rarely gets the cookie or treat that looks like all the other kids’. I’m sad for the guilt that I have when I sneak away to eat something he can’t have. I’m sad that he pretends to check the ingredients on items when we’re food shopping.
And tomorrow I’ll go back to gratitude, but tonight…..tonight I’m just sad.