I Survived The 1st Day of Kara’s 1st Job, and So Did She!
When you have a child with food allergies, you immediately think worst-case scenario. Especially with anything new, and out of routine. The what if’s take over at an irrational pace. The hopes of us over worrying our selves is to make sure we thought of everything to keep our child safe. Yes, Kara is 16 and knows her allergies. I am more worried about the times she is just not thinking about it, when she gets nervous, and when she is busy working.
So to help celebrate mine, and her surviving her first day of work, I decided to write about how we prepared, and how the day went. First of all, she has been in charge of making her lunches since she has been in middle school. So she packed her lunch and snacks. I think the more a child with food allergies has control over there food; then it increases the safety in which they eat out, and socialize in a food setting. Let’s face it, we all are fighting for inclusion, but while we are doing that. We have to make them ready for the world that quite frankly has no clue how to prepare for them
Kara texted me from work saying she had arrived, and that she was staring at plates full of bagels, and scones that she can’t eat. However, Kara was relatively annoyed at the site of staring at the food she cannot eat for an extended period. I asked if Kara could eat anything that was there to which I got the response she had gotten apple juice. It is Kara’s first day she had in her bag what she always carries EpiPens, cleaning wipes to wipe down surfaces, and all other teenage essentials.
Lunchtime happens, and they have a cafeteria which they were given a free pass to eat. Kara said she got a drink and power walked through the cafeteria since there was fish there she saw after she was already in the middle of the café. The cashier tried to get Kara to get something, but she explained to her she had brought her lunch, and she can’t eat anything there and her food allergies. Kara had to sit with her team and team leader. To which she had to explain to everyone again why she didn’t get food and brought her own.
Kara thankfully did not have an allergic reaction. Kara and two of her friends are working together, which makes me feel a little better. Even if they are on different teams, and may not see each other every day. It is good to know that they are at least in the same company. Kara and her friends came over after there first day to celebrate with an Asian feast. We had our versions of Miso Soup, Tteokbokki, and Mung Bean Pancakes.
It is just the start of so many firsts that I will have to help by being supportive. I am very proud that Kara is not shy about saying no I can’t eat that. I am very proud of the fact that she is strong enough to be her advocate, and I tell her to be firm. She doesn’t ask for anything extreme, and if she does not feel comfortable with the accommodations of safe food, she will eat the food that she brought. Aside from worrying, listing to her, and making a feast to celebrate another 1st. I didn’t do much to prepare her for her 1st day of work, and then I realize yes, Yes I did. I accomplished what every parent wants for their child, to be independent, and know their worth. We survived another 1st!