There is an African Proverb that says “It takes a village to raise a child.”
In the case of my four children, I think it is a town or two. Seriously, I do believe that everyone a child meets, whether by accident or not, plays an important role in his or her development. A simple look, an act of kindness or a passing message can have a lasting impact that will forever be a part of that little one’s life.
As we celebrated Food Allergy Awareness Week, I couldn’t help being emotional as I acknowledge the wonderful people who constantly help me raise my kids. Their acceptance, kindness and never ending support not only made our family’s journey with food allergies much easier, it also gave way to wonderful memories.
1. Teachers and School Staff
Thank you for making the schools peanut free and the classroom nut free as well. Your wonderful policies such as No food birthday celebrations, list of healthy approved snacks, very few food related activities and bulling have made my life as a mom so much easier. By constantly reminding the children that they are a family, you have instilled the value of individuality, respect and compassion.
2. Town library staff
I can’t thank you enough for sponsoring kid friendly programs that don’t center on food. If ever there are snacks, you always make sure that you have some safe treats even if it is often pricier. How can I forget the patience you’ve shown when I was looking for food allergy related books? From a collection of about 5 books, you now have a huge selection that I and other food allergy patrons can enjoy. Please keep the collection growing every season.
3. Cub Scout and Girl Scout leaders
You all have done a great job in balancing normalcy and safety. Thank you for being on top of all the allergies of each Scouts (peanut and nut free snacks only) and not making a big deal when a child isn’t comfortable eating. Through you, all the kids learned the it is fine to say “No.”
4. Master Sensei, Karate teachers and students
Even if Child #3 is the smallest in the Dojo, you never fail to encourage him and point out his strengths. You even allow him to partner with some of the older, high ranking students. The proud look on his face when he first pinned down a much bigger kid to defend himself will forever be cherished. Thanks for teaching him discipline and self confidence.
5. Choir Master
Thank you for your dedication. Through you, my girls are learning commitment, discipline and most of all the value of sharing their talents without expecting any tangible return.
6. Pediatrician, Allergist, Gastroenterologist, Dentist and their Staff
You all go beyond what is required to make my children healthy. I am so blessed to have you on my team. In spite of all the testings and countless visits, you made sure that the kids are happy and comfortable. Honestly, they are always happy to go to your clinics.
7. School Parents
I have read so many horror stories about moms not getting along with other FA moms. Thankfully, I’m so blessed to be in the company of super loving and supportive parents. I’m forever grateful for still inviting my kids to parties and play dates. For us, it’s all about the children having a great time and not elaborately decorated treats.
8. Finally, all my children’s friends, classmates and fellow scouts. Instead of avoiding or excluding them, you look for things that you have in common. Thank you for being their voices and having their backs when they are too shy or weak to stand up for themselves.
Truly, when God gives a challenge, He sends Angels to help us go through.