A Guest Post by Mabel's Labels Brand & Communications Manager, Karma Bryan-Ingle:
I have blogged on the Mabelhood site before about my son with life-threatening food allergies and the anxiety that can accompany it. As many of you know, I take a different approach to how I deal with this allergy anxiety. Namely, I don’t let it rule our lives or have too much impact on the choices I make for my son. I want him to have all of the same opportunities as any child and I want him to have the same experiences. We travel with Evan. We send him to sleep away camp. He goes to birthday parties and trick-or-treats at Halloween. We just do all these things with an air of caution.
A few weeks ago I was at an event at my son’s school. It was an Ignite event where 15 people got up for 5 minutes each and talked about something they were passionate about. The topics were varied and each one as interesting as the next. But the two that struck me the most were the ones by Evan’s teacher and his wife. Years ago, they took a trip to Nepal and fell in love with the land and its’ people. From that point forward, every other year they have taken a group of upper school students to Nepal for two weeks to do charitable work. Students come back from this trip transformed. This is a trip I would love for Evan to go on.
Which got me to thinking…would I let him go or would I be too scared to send him off to a foreign country without me, due to his life threatening allergies? For the first time ever, I considered having him miss out on an amazing opportunity. One that could change his life and shape the person he could become. All because of food allergies. I still don’t have the answer. I don’t know if I will let him go when he reaches Grade 11. Thankfully, I still have 8 years to decide!
So, what would you do? Would you send your allergic child off to have the experience of a lifetime or would you let the allergies win?