Some time near my son’s first birthday, he had a deadly allergic reaction to his first taste of milk. Welts decorated the quickly swelling skin, changing the proportions of his facial features to an unrecognizable state. The pitch of his cry ascended higher and higher, as assumably, the windpipe narrowed. Fortunately, Benedryl relieved the scary situation during my debate of calling 911.
Within the next year, the specialists confirmed Nathaniel was indeed allergic to not only milk, but also eggs, soy and beef. The doctors were puzzled since this normally hereditary condition had no previously cited experiences in our family.
The new diagnosis made it difficult to visit restaurants without causing a scene. In the church nursery, I attached a sign to his back which read, “Please do not feed,” as I walked away in prayer that he wouldn’t accidentally pick up someone else’s sippy cup. When we traveled, some establishments became off-limits while others jumped through hoops trying to get the cute little guy something to eat. A decade later, food allergies still shape the social event of eating, often making him feel like an outcast everywhere but in our home.
At age five, Nathaniel went to visit his cousins who had a new cat. After returning from their house, he begged for a cat. “Please! I love their cat! Their neighbor has kittens! Our cat could have kittens and we could sell them! I will take care of it all by myself!”
I then realized that due to the severity of his allergies, I had never mentioned my own less-than-dangerous ones. I thought telling him might make him feel better. “Hey bud, I may have never told you this, but actually, I am allergic to cats. We will never have a cat in our home.”
He raised is eyebrows and the left side of his upper lip in that unbelieving way and scolded me, “Well you don’t have to EAT it!”
I hope this brought your God-given smile to your face!