My Food Allergy Kido Graduated High School & Is Heading to College!
Updated: Sep 12
Disclaimer you may cry and have overwhelming emotions reading this blog. It has been a roller coaster to write, let alone realize that we lived this. Since you are still reading, please don’t say I didn’t warn you. Many people know the whole reason I started Allergy Dragon was that I really could have used my kind of help 18 years ago. My youngest child came into this world, and I was thankful that they were healthy. Little did I know that in just 9 months’ time, food allergies would be brought to light, and that was the first time I almost lost her.
No child comes with a handbook that tells you how to parent them, and that was even more true for a child with food allergies in 2002. We did the best we could, just like any parent. Kara has 33 food allergies and Celiac Disease. I am proud that today she can hold her head up high and not apologize for that. I am pleased that they overcame the fear of food for the most part. I am proud and thankful that they realize their mental health is just as crucial as physical health.I am pleased beyond words of the empowered and courageous person they have become.
Did I mention my baby graduated Magna Cum Laude, with 5 cords, multiple awards, 8 college acceptances, and multiple academic scholarships? They did this while managing their food allergies, working part-time jobs, internships, dating, having friends, and a pandemic! I am not writing this to brag but to show how grateful I am at this point in our lives.
Hitting this milestone is an accomplishment that I didn’t know would happen. I take this as a reminder for me that for every positive story with food allergies and every milestone, we can celebrate. But, unfortunately, another family won’t be able to because food allergies took their children away. This is a lifelong fight that won’t go away. I still fight even when my child is “grown-up” and remind myself to cherish the little things. Every moment we have is precious.
Graduation was in May, and Moving to college is in….less than a week!
To say this has been a difficult post to write would be an understatement. We are moving on to college; WOW! I am a mess, by the way; I feel like my grown-up baby is going to kindergarten again. Food allergy parents, you know what I mean! At least, I hope so. Please let me know if you do, or am I the only one? The feeling of trusting the new people they will be around and knowing it is all up to them now. My Mom always said, “ You teach your kid right from wrong, and just pray it sticks.” I do understand this statement more than ever now.
I believe in this case, with my youngest, it has stuck. Right from wrong, I agree they have a tremendous moral compass. Standing up for themselves and advocating for themselves, I believe they are empowered to do so. I only worry about the people who won’t listen or the one person who makes a mistake. So this is what it feels like to let go and believe in your child!?I am equally part sad and thankful! I am blessed to be this young adult’s Mother.
So on a personal note to my young adult. I am proud of the person you have become.I believe you can do anything you put your mind to. I know you have the resources around you to not only survive but thrive. I understand that your pronouns have changed, and them/they are a challenge for me. But, you will always be the person that is so much like me in personality and mannerisms. Whatever your college life and the future holds, you are ready.
I am exceptionally proud that we raised someone that is genuinely comfortable in their skin.I want to remind you that no matter what changes you go through and who you love. You will always be my beautiful baby, and I am so proud to be your Mom.We will be updating the whole College experience with how things go, and maybe videos from college! Kara, AKA Vesper, will be updating about how life has changed for them. With a focus on how handling Celiac Disease, 33 food allergies, and adjusting to college life.
I want to take this time to thank my fellow Allergy Parents and support system. Too many to name, but I believe you know who you are. It takes a village and the internet to raise food allergy kids into thriving adults. But, I think we are on the right track. Thank you for reading this blog and being part of the Allergy Dragon Community! We wish everyone reading this a great new school year or whatever you are taking on this year. Let us know how you are doing, and as always, we hope this blog helps you tame your Allergy Dragon.