To the mom at the table across from ours: I’m sorry.

When I came across Romans 2:1 in my daily reading, I was reminded of our first, unbeknownst to me, encounter with food allergies.  Given all the recent disputes over food allergies in the media, I’m going to share.  Sometimes we have to be reminded to “turn the table” and consider the view from the other side.

Flashback to 10+ years ago:

Hubby and I are spending a romantic weekend at Disney World, having just found out we are pregnant with our first child.  All day, my mind had been filled daydreams of mommy-hood and I found myself observing all of the other mothers around me at work.  We are seated at a table at one of the fabulous Disney restaurants and are waiting on our server.

At the table across the aisle, a family of three arrived: Mom, Dad, and elementary-aged daughter. Dad sat down, but before Mom sat down, she took a white napkin from the table and daintily but thoroughly wiped down her daughter’s chair before she sat.

I’m ashamed to admit this, but I remember thinking something like “Ohhh-kay… that mother sure treats her daughter like a princess.”

The server came out, took our order and then turned to them. They asked to speak with the chef, something I had never seen done before at a restaurant. The chef came out to their table and they discussed how their daughter’s meal was to be prepared.

I thought, “Wow, this is a nice restaurant if they offer that kind of special attention.” and, “Seriously? She must be a really finicky eater.”  Insert that popular phrase we’ve all thought at some point = “I will never do that with my kids”.

Fast forward 2 years:

I sat my daughter in her high chair and handed her her first teething biscuit. Hours later, she is covered in hundreds of hives, rushed to the emergency room, and later diagnosed with multiple, severe food allergies.

In the years since that day, I have learned volumes about parenting a child with food allergies, including the one place we can vacation where I don’t have to cook because they are fabulous with food allergies- Disney World.

Romans 2:1 “…for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things.”

So to you, AWESOME food allergy mom at the table across from ours: I’m sorry.

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