This morning we woke up early, trying to get the kid to school early so she can catch up from our trip to Disneyland. Among the cooking and prepping for lunch, she announced “Mom, we have a BEAN!”.

This was a science project that we started a couple of months ago. I was not surprised that under her care we have a viable plant. She has always been a much better gardener than me, even when she was three years old and we had a large garden in the backyard of our Los Angeles home.

But a BEAN! In the window sill. That was cool. Ironically, she is allergic to said green bean. We discussed it before we started the project and decided that Dad could eat the beans, so they wouldn’t go to waste.

There is a bit of an analogy as well as a metaphor in that Bean for me today, since my Bean, or “peanut” as we affectionately called her before we knew that she was allergic to them, is at the age where she’s going places without me. I’ve grown her from that little seed, and now, she’s basically grown up. I’ve taught her what I can about living with food allergies, and she’s ready to go out on her own.

If you’ve been following our Travel posts, you know that we just had a very successful trip to Disneyland. In the past we’ve traveled successfully internationally to Spain. Our allergic daughter has also traveled by herself to a short overnight camp a few years ago.

Although I couldn’t work the Brooklyn Allergy Mom magic for an upcoming trip to London and Paris without me (the food issue was just too daunting with the kids on the move all the time, and not knowing where they would be eating), we are preparing to send her alone on an upcoming trip three hours away with another group for four days. and three nights.

I’m feeling a bit conflicted. When I’m around she knows I’ll take care of her food needs. Without me, I’m not sure she’ll advocate for herself. But that’s me as a Mom speaking, of course she’s been advocating for herself all these years attending public schools in Brooklyn. I’ve spoken to everyone in the organization that I can think of, the nurse, her group leader, her best friend who will room with her (who knows her very well), and I even wrote a very long email to everyone involved in the trip. I tried to speak to the food service personnel at the resort, but got nowhere, so I’ll provide all her food.

I’m prepared. I’ve done this before. She’s ready. She’s prepared. There are people around who will take care of her.

The feeling? Very similar to the first day I went back to work and left her with a nanny when she was six weeks old. Allergic Mommy anxiety 101. Are you with me? I know I’m not alone.

I know in my heart of hearts that she’ll go, have a great time, and be fine.

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4 Responses to Allergy Free Teens, Beans and Letting Go

  1. AllergyBird says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience. My daughter with peanut allergy is 11 now and we’re facing more independence & middle school this fall. I’m definitely feeling like we are on the verge of a significant turning point in her life.

  2. Debbie Adler says:

    OMG, you sound so much like me and my very food allergic son is only 3. Kudos to you for letting your daughter travel and have as normal life as possible.

    I hope I can be as brave as you when the time comes.

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