I’ve mentioned it before, but in case you might have missed it–
We are a family with food allergies.
Because if one person has food allergies, you all are affected.
We don’t have anything in the house she cannot have. We don’t choose things in restaurants that she could not have, and we don’t go places she can’t go.
It’s how we roll. All for one…..
her sister in college even avoids having things in her dorm room, just in case her sister stops by for a visit.
That’s what love looks like.
Caring enough to give up something for the benefit of another.
At least that is what motivates us around here. Goodness knows, I don’t read labels until I’m blurry-eyed (have you seen how small some of the print is) and avoid certain places for the fun of it. I don’t pack her extra snacks for get-togethers or cringe when she’s around folks eating what she’s allergic to because I enjoy it.
I do it because her life depends on it.
Holidays and celebrations are tricky times. Most of these days/gatherings/celebrations come together around one thing, right?
Which makes it hard, when one’s choices are extremely limited. Nothing with the allergens, nothing processed with the allergens, and oh good gravy, please tell me you didn’t forget your epi-pen. Yeah, we’ve had some days of mad scrambling when that was left behind.
Halloween is one such day. There’s the fun of dressing up. The excitement of going out at dusk, all around the neighborhood with friends and family, and knocking on doors, visiting with folks on the sidewalks, and sharing stories and comparing what you got.
Remember what Charlie Brown had to say after each “Trick or Treat”?
Rocks. He got rocks.
But I tell you what, I’d rather my girl get rocks than some candy that has the potential to threaten her physical health.
So we have two choices–
1) We don’t go trick or treating.
2) We go, but she doesn’t get to eat most or any of it due to presence or possibility of allergens.
Yeah. Good times.
She’s had her costume picked out for two months and has been doing a countdown for the past week, and we’re still nine days out. (I know, she told me a little while ago.) Would you want to be the one to tell her we aren’t going?
Before our sweet neighborfriends moved, my friend prepared separate treats for my littles of things she’d asked me about beforehand. Bless her, I miss her for many reasons, and there’s one more. Usually I buy a special sweet treat for my crew and we “let” the Fella take the rest of it into work with him. And it’s done for another year.
The other day my girl was talking about the one house a block over that gave her a spider ring last year. She was thrilled. So much so that she’s still talking about it.
That sealed the deal for me about something I’d been thinking about doing.
So Aub and I painted a pumpkin teal blue.
And it’s sitting on our porch.
I think it looks lovely–she and I are into that color right now. (It’s not the only thing we’ve painted that color…..) But it is even lovelier to me because of what it stands for.
All are welcome.
I recently found out through a Food Allergy awareness page on social media about the Teal Pumpkin Project. For more information about how it began, click here for the story. A teal pumpkin on one’s porch or a sign with a teal pumpkin on a door or mailbox lets folks trick or treating know that non-food items are available at that house.
It’s about more than children with food allergies. This includes children with diabetes and other dietary restrictions.
I’ve read some of the comments. I don’t know why it is that when something new is introduced, some folks are so threatened, they get real, real ugly.
Suggesting that I keep my child home on Halloween because she can’t eat the candy, or that I’m pampering her and others who have allergies like her by “catering” to her needs.
Oh me. Just walk away, Tara, just walk away.
Look, if this isn’t your thing, that’s okay. I won’t think less of you if you give out Reese’s cups and don’t have a teal pumpkin anywhere around your house. Ten years ago, I had no idea about all of this either. (And with Reese’s you would have been my hero!) I get it. Just please understand why this is important to me.
This is about children. Being children. Dressing up and having a great, safe, and fun night.
If my offering treats like pencils or stickers or slinkies and other novelties ensures that, then I’m all for it.
My Mama told me more times than I can count when we were growing up, “You better not leave anybody out.”
So my pumpkin is blue.
The idea of the teal pumpkin project is not that folks can’t give out candy too. It’s just that non-food options are available.
And that is a nice thing to do.
Because spider rings can make someone smile.
Even a year later.
Teal blue pumpkin love to all.