We were driving in the car coming from baseball practice and going to the pet store for some fish supplies. My younger son, now eight, started talking about his long awaited hamster. I asked him, “So…you still want a hamster?” He shouted, “Yes!” from the backseat. We have been talking about a hamster for about a year or two now. We’ve created a collection of toy hamsters and tracks during this time—parents’ procrastination prerogative. So I replied, “Well, we did promise you a hamster when you become nine years old—mature enough to clean the cage.” He gleefully hollered, “My life will be complete!”
At the ripe old of eight, his life is almost already complete, less a hamster. How great is that? As I relentlessly seek to continue writing and working and finding more studies that interest me, why can’t I determine that my life, so full of love and happiness, is complete? It makes me wonder about my attitude towards our food allergies as well—for the past ten years I think I’ve made every birthday-blow-out-the-candle-wish that the food allergies would--well--just disappear. They haven’t. Does that make my life incomplete? Does it make me unhappy?
No. It better not. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with peoples’ lives in this world…from physical, to mental health issues…from accidents to tragedies. Watching television tells us more than we ever want to know about psychopaths, war, poverty, cruelty and all sorts of medical issues that plague us to the point where everyone is impacted by way of our shared and ever-increasing health insurance premiums.
I no longer feel unhappy about our food allergies. I don’t even like dairy any more. My older son swears he’ll never eat it, even if he outgrows it. He even says he likes his allergies. How can that be? I accept them but only because they’ve made us healthier—I cook dinner every night. Yes every night, except for when we have leftovers—no take-out, no fast food, no school lunches. I do not always feel like making dinner, but I like eating it. In fact, I love eating it. I don’t even like eating out anymore, aside from the social factor, as I prefer my own home cooked mostly organic food. I sleep better, feel better and happier.
So make your life more complete: Don’t feel unhappy about food allergies. Make the best of them, cook for yourself and buy the foods you love for your children and yourself. Be safe and don't worry (too much).