Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Grieving a Loss of Innocence

I have always been slow to emotionally process things. 

 
I love to look at this beautiful world that God created for us and stare in awe at its beauty.  I love sunsets and spring wildflowers.  Mountains and waterfalls are nothing short of miracles.  I love the smell of the salt air, the roar of the ocean waves, and I feel the hand of God touching me as the sun rays warm me as a summer breeze blows across my face. 
 

I believe in people too.  I love to watch people’s faces soften when they talk to a child.  I feel my most powerful when I touch someone’s heart and help shape their life’s for the better; I believe that most people in the world feel this same way.  I love to watch families care for their elders.  I love how the elders pass on their knowledge, wisdom, & love to those that care for them.  I believe most people want to help humanity and love one another.
 

So while I have been silent about the tragedy in Boston, my heart has been slowly trying to accept it.  I have thought a lot about the families, loved ones lost, grief, anguish, sorrow, and lives forever changed- and I grieve.   
 

Tonight though, I grieved the tragedy in Boston for a personal loss.

 
I cannot protect my children from understanding life and death.  With life threatening food allergies, it is vtal to their survival to understand the gravity of not eating foods that can cause anaphylaxis.  In many ways, my boys -and according to other parents with children with life threatening food allergies- have had to grow up too soon.

Although I realize I cannot protect my children from the ugliness that exists in the world, I have tried to preserve their innocence for as long as possible as they have needed to grow up too soon in other ways.  I am not sure when I planned to let them slowly get a glimpse of the tarnished reality of this world, but I always felt I would know when the time was right.  Although, I know that is such a na├»ve thought!  Would there ever be such a time to tarnish their innocent outlook in childhood?
 

I understand that in order to appreciate the beauty and benevolence in people you must also understand there is evil in the world.  I mentally comprehend this sad fact, but my heart has yet to accept it.  Tonight my oldest sweet “baby” came home today and told me another child shared with him the news of the Boston bombings.  He talked about the known facts and asked me about the families.  He understood more than I wish he did.  While he talked about the incident I cried.  I cried openly for the loss of those lost.  I cried for the children and families that witnessed this horrid event and who's lives will forever be altered.  And I cried for the loss of my child’s innocence. 
 

So tonight I still grieve.

 
But tomorrow, I will hold my babies close and be so grateful that I can.  Tomorrow, I will again try to paint a picture of God’s beauty in the world and preserve in my boys an unwavering belief in a loving world filled with mostly good people. 




 








 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Our Friendships are Priceless

 



I have realized that being friends with my husband, my children, and myself honestly requires some really special people with loving and compassionate hearts. 
 

Our friends must understand. They need to understand that I may “overreact” to a simple piece of food. They must understand that play dates may need to be canceled at the last minute due to a severe asthma attack. They have to understand that we may never be able to step foot into their home because their cat will set off my son’s allergies. They understand that I will need to know what they will be serving because it is important to me as a mommy, that I am able to serve my little darlings’s safe food that is comparable to everyone else’s.



 Our friends must be respectful.  It is impossible to understand every part of this journey of parenting little blessings with anaphylactic allergies or developmental delays.  So while our friends may not understand everything, they must respect the difficult choices we make.  Sometimes that means not being able to be a part of something they want to share with us.  Trust me my sweet friends, we wish more than anything to share with you anything you deem important.  It hurts us to have to say no to you. 

 Our friends must be compassionate.  They must be able to look at me and know when I am at my breaking point before I actually break.

 They must be self-sacrificing and understand that their children will not be able to run around with foods that can harm our babies.  They must sacrifice their "right" to feed their children whatever they want around our boys.  They must sacrifice bringing yummy treats to our home without discussing it with us first to verify its safety.  Our friends must also understand as soon as they enter the house they will need to wash their hands and their children’s little hands before touching our oldest son or our busy B or their toys.

 

Our friends must communicate frankly and still listen with all their hearts.

Our sweet friends help us stay grounded. They listen to problems they often cannot understand. They must be able to emphasize with issues they cannot possibly fathom. They must be able to talk with us openly. Our friends need to let us know when we are being over the top and need to take a step back. Equally important, they are our cheerleaders and tell us when to fight harder and not back down.

 Our friend's must help us remember to think of ourselves. They must continue to tell us that we need time for ourselves even when we feel the overwhelming need to be with our babies to ensure their safety. Taking time for myself feels foriegn and is counterintuitive. Friends must be able to remind us that we are important and need time for ourselves so we can continue to operate at super-mommy and super-daddy speed! 


Our friends must know that there are no words that can make the challenge of raising children with anaphylactic food allergies, anaphylactic sting allergies, and developmental delays any easier, but we still need them to listen.  We need them to just hear us as we express feeling alone, even with their loving support by our sides.  They need to know that there are no words that can take away our fears, but being there for us means more than words can express. 

 Yes, our friends are pretty amazing and selfless people.  If they are able to accommodate all of those challenging feats from above, I give them my all.  But even more rewarding, in return for all of those amazing gifts of friendship they share with us, they get what so few people will ever enjoy in this life- they get to watch my children grow, mature, and blossom along side of me.  Sharing these beautiful little boys with them is also sharing the best parts of my sweet husband and myself and I know of no better gift.  I am so grateful they are willing to be these special people in our lives.  I am in awe of their continuous love and actions of support.  Friends like this are rare treasures.  While I only have a few "rare jewels" in my life, my cup runneth over!

 
 
Thank you our sweet friends, we are so blessed to have you!


Friday, April 12, 2013

My Husband, My Hero


My husband is amazing.

 
He is a wonderful Daddy. As a father he is loving, kind, and fair.  He is attentive to everything about our boys- from the coloring of their cheeks, to the tiniest bumps on their bodies, to the slightest wheeze.  Every week in addition to being an amazing Daddy, my husband graciously becomes our boys’ teacher, chauffer, respiratory therapist, pharmacists, physical therapist, nurse, occupational therapist, speech & language pathologists, playmate, nutritionist & chef. 

 
In a typical week, my superhero drives to preschool, homeschools our oldest child, goes to occupational therapy, speech & language pathology twice a week, the allergist twice a week, homeschool groups and activities, sports practices 2 to 4 times a week depending on the sports season, he does daily speech & language lessons, daily brushing for sensory issues, daily stretching for physical therapy issues, and at least one or two doctor’s appointments every week.
 

On top of all of these responsibilities, my sweetheart manages to get the kids fed, laundry done, and dinner on the table for his family!  May I remind you that each one of us in this household has crazy food allergies!  Our combined lists of food allergies are: peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, coconuts, sesame seeds, fish, shell fish, dairy, pineapples, pears, apples, peaches, cranberries & soy (we tolerate soy liechen and soy oil).  We also do not ingest anything with gluten due to celiac disease as well.  Cooking for this family is no small task!

 
This wonderful man is able to accomplish all of this, AND he still manages to make time for me.  He still manages to make me feel special, spend time with me nightly before bed, & still remembers to ask me out on occasional dates.


 

I know I am so very, very blessed!
My sweet husband is my hero.