Monday is Elly's 4th birthday. I can't believe that my little baby is 4, where does the time go? I want to make her birthday a special one. I had this fantasy that I would go into her classroom at the first recess and lay out a table cloth and deck out the fancy table with a tray full of cheese and crackers and meat. I also wanted to send fancy cupcakes for her to share with her friends. In my head I could see her little face, so excited when she came back in from recess. I sent a note into her teacher on Friday to ask permission.
There is a little one is Elly's class who has a peanut allergy. The kids have been asked not to bring in peanuts or peanut butter. Elly's classroom is a peanut free classroom. I know the drill. This child must have a very serious, like life threatening peanut allergy, because Elly's teacher seems really worried. She sent back word that she is really sorry, but they have decided to only have packaged "peanut free" labeled treats for the year. She may as well have just shouted in my face "you're not going to be the most awesome mom in our class this year....SORRY." O.k. maybe that's a little over the top. I am just used to being the mom that the other moms hate. I bring in fancy, show stopping cakes for the kids class. The kids enjoy celebratey status, and enjoy being "that mom". I do not get to have that opportunity in Elly's class.
Today I went to Walmart to look for "peanut free" labeled products. Each isle I looked for "peanut free", there was barely anything. The longer I looked, the more irritated I became, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack. In my head I was thinking how ridiculous this amount of trouble this was for one child! I could feel my temperature rising as I looked and looked and was finding such a small selection. How was I going to get fun treats for Elly? It was shortly after this that I had a horrible realization, if I was having this much trouble, and I was this irritated, what must it be like if that was my child. Oh my God, how must it feel to have a child who could die if he/ she came into contact with a peanut? How could you protect your child? I cannot imagine how difficult that must be. From that second forward I changed my bad attitude. I walked those isles with respect and sympathy for those children and their parents.
I discovered something very surprising to me on my journey. I discovered that "Great Value", the Walmart brand had the best selection. Not only did the Walmart brand have the best selection, they were the best prices, and the honestly the best value.
My fantasy has been shattered, but my degree of thankfullness has, however been ten fold improved. I am so thankful to have healthy, happy children. I am so thankful that I can send my children to school and not worry if another child brings peanuts near my child. I am thankful that I do not have to worry sending my children to school. I am sure that Elly will have a fun birthday, she just will have a fun birthday that is safe for everyone in her class. It's not really about "me" at all.