Skip to main content

Easter Treats, Love, and Food Allergies

We're having a good Easter. My kids are now 18 and 14, but my 14-year-old daughter likes her traditions and still insists on the full basket-and-egg hunt, even while she's announcing she's really too old for all this.

My son has refused to hunt, or even to get out of bed the last couple of years, so this year my husband put the rest of their school-year allowance in the eggs. $10 an egg. Suddenly, he's in there fervently hunting. (They're down to their last couple apparently-unfindable eggs and are busy snarking at each other, so it's a good time to write a post.)

Easters past have been all about the...Legos? I will just admit it. Throughout my son's childhood, I simply inserted toys in any slot where candy was supposed to show up. A Lego for Easter. A Lego for a difficult trip to the doctor/dentist. Multiple Legos for Halloween. Secret Legos, slipped to him surreptitiously, while all the other kids are eating cake and ice cream. Over the years, our basement has turned into a Lego hoard that would make the builders at Legoland jealous.

I look back now and think why? Why did I invest so much money in redundant toys that really should have gone into his college fund?

And then I think about the cousin Easter baskets. Every year, the baskets would get handed out, and each child would sit down and fondle their chocolate wonders. The shiny wrappers! The giant bunnies! The enormous candy bars! And, in my son's basket: Lifesavers, Mike & Ikes, Airheads and Twizzlers.

The same candy at every party, every holiday, every lunch, every classroom treat.

By the time my son was in the late elementary years, he had learned not to care about the candy at all. It simply wasn't the important part of the party for him. If I had stood back and really looked, I might have seen that taking the food part of things away was actually helping him to enjoy and invest in the rest of the party in a more engaged way. My son loved parties and he loved people. He really didn't care about the cake. I did.

Food is love, after all, and the Lego was the best I could do to show my love in place of all those shiny, wrapped candy bars and Cadbury eggs and cheese-stuffed pizza and butter birthday cake with real cream ice cream.

Does different always = unequal? Does food always = love? Do we do our kids a favor by rushing into the gap with that Lego so they don't have to sort those equations out for themselves?

My son, despite my Lego-whenever-he-might-feel-left-out program, seems to have grown into a young man who can acknowledge, but not resent, the differences in his world. Yes, it's a PITA that he can't eat at his girlfriend's favorite restaurant...but what a testament to his character that they end up there often, anyway. Somehow, despite the Legos, he has learned it's not all about him.

That's something I'm very grateful for this Easter season. Sometimes they grow up well in spite of us.

Wishing you all a safe and very happy Easter!

Follow me on Facebook or Twitter  

Popular posts from this blog

Best Food Allergy Tweets/Posts From 2013 ACAAI Meeting

Sorry, guys...I've been very busy the last couple of weeks, but just over a week ago one of the largest allergy and asthma conferences, the annual American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, was tweeting its brains out.

Here were the tweets and (virtual) presentations I thought were most interesting:

ACE inhibitors are often used to treat high blood pressure. I believe Lisinopril was the one specifically mentioned. This goes hand in hand with the idea that older patients, especially men, can see changes in the severity of their allergic reactions as they age.

Here's an answer on the question many of us asked about component testing. Just as with RAST, the number itself doesn't matter; just the positive result.

Gross! But yes, give your kids the bobber after the dog/ brother/ mailman licked it.

Conversely, tree-nut-allergic individuals have a 30% incidence of concurrent peanut allergy. 
So stop blaming yourselves, FA mommies! I've said this consistently - Mother Natur…

Taking The High Road With Food Allergies (Sometimes)

I was getting all ready to write a post about how grateful I am. You of those count-down-to-Thanksgiving posts where I list all the people or things that have helped me along the way.

And I am grateful. Really. Having virtual friends who have traveled this same food-allergy road is a wonderful gift. I can name so many times when my panic and frustration were alleviated by someone I've never even met in real life, but who took the time to give me a tip, or to console me.

But frankly, my lovely gratitude post went out the window when I received this email from a relative:

What can we bring to share? I have some ideas: Sweet Potatoes glazed with Chutney and Ginger, Green beans with Dijon and Caper sauce, Creamed Green beans with Dill sauce, or whatever you request.   I am aware of [FAB's son] dietary restriction.

My son is allergic to beans. We avoid all beans. Even green beans. The doctor was surprised by this, as green beans are the least allergenic of the bean family, b…

Beans, Beans and More (or Less) Allergenic Beans!

We have a little good news this week: my son passed a home bean challenge for both pinto and cannellini (white) beans last night. Hooray!

At our last allergist visit, they ran the numbers on a number of varieties of beans and many were Class 0, with values like 0.68. My son's doctor thought it was reasonable to try these at home.

Going to stop for a moment and interject: DON'T DO THIS WITHOUT YOUR DOCTOR'S DIRECTION. A lot of things go into whether home challenges are a good idea for your child: how serious the allergen typically is, how far the hospital, how experienced the parents are with recognizing reactions. Many doctors are not comfortable with this at all. But, in our case, it makes sense to do some challenges at home because my son tests slightly allergic to dozens of foods.

He has avoided all beans since around age five, when he started developing new allergies. First it was tuna. Then cashews. Then (to our great surprise), he suddenly became allergic to garbonzo be…