What Teal Love Means to this Food Allergy Family

Being a food allergy mom is tough.

You’re always worried your child’s going to have that anaphylactic reaction.

You’re darting peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and M&M’s everywhere you go (while explaining to your preschooler they may look good, but they’re not safe).

To make matters worse – when you talk about your child’s medical condition with some parents – you don’t get the “ohhh, wow… that must be so hard.”

Trade understanding for an eyeroll.

There’s that mom again being her regular-old helicopter-self.

That’s why when I saw this new campaign from Nuts About My Son, I was ecstatic!

Teal love.

It’s all about keeping Valentine’s Day celebrations safe for our food allergic kids.

My first thought, I LOVE my son (and so should you because he’s just the cutest and sweetest little guy).

The same day I added teal love to my Facebook profile picture I got a string of texts that showed me what teal love really is.

First, the birthday invite.

“I wanted to invite J.C. for the party! Also you’ll have to let me know how to prepare to make sure it’s nut free and totally safe for him!”

It’s not the first time I’ve received a text like this.

Sitting in my staff meeting, I sent a quick text back explaining we’ll bring our own cupcake, he’ll skip eating the food and he’ll be fine as long as there are no actual nuts as part of the spread.

That’s how we survive most parties.

She sent back, “Okay, well let’s work together so he doesn’t feel singled out at all. Maybe lots of cupcakes and you know which one he can have… something like that.”

Still in my meeting, surrounded by my co-workers, my eyes welled up with tears.

He won’t be singled out? At all?

Next a string of questions from my friend – Is this safe? Is that safe? How about we do this?

At this point, I’m about to have a happy tears, ugly cry breakdown.

Teal love.

What Teal Love Means to this Food Allergy Family

It’s just going the extra step.

It’s just showing a little extra love to a child with a food allergy – that’s a child who is left out on a regular basis, a child who skips parties and field trips, a child who can’t eat lunch with his friends, a child who is just not the same as the 12 in 13 kids who don’t have a food allergy.

It’s giving up your child’s favorite candy in school (to instead eat it at home).

It’s trading in a PB&J for a cream cheese and jelly.

It’s opting for themed pencils instead of birthday cupcakes.

Thank you to all the parents who have taken an extra out-of-the-way step to make sure my child and the other 1 in 13 with food allergies are safe and included.

Thank you for the teal love.

Insert ugly cry here.

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