There have been two instances recently when I've had the experience of being on the other side of food allergies, as in, I have encountered situations where someone has a food allergy and that someone was not my child.
This year Michael has a boy in his class who is allergic to nuts like Harper is. Early on in the school year we received a letter requesting students to sign-up to pack nut-free one day a week to sit at the nut free table with this student. It is exactly the same system we used for Harper all through elementary school and, year after year, I was touched by the efforts made by so many school families to ensure she had friends to eat with. In fact, I think the letter I received is the exact same one that I used to send. Of course Michael is eating with his friend at the nut-free table once a week.
On Friday when I was flying out to Las Vegas, I actually had a stash of Snickers bars that were pilfered from the Halloween haul. We do not keep or eat nuts in the house. But it was Harper's idea that I put all the Snickers in a bag, freeze them, and have them for my trip. Years ago I probably would not have done that, but both the kids are old enough now that I wasn't worried about someone getting in to them - they both understand the potential for danger. I was unlikely to eat all the Snickers bars on the plane ride, but I was looking forward to nibbling them. And I failed to pack anything else to eat - not really thinking through that the flight was 4.5 hours long.
As we were getting ready to depart the crew made an announcement that there was someone on board with a nut allergy, not nuts or nut products would be served, and would we please refrain from opening and consuming any food we'd brought with us that might contain nuts. The friend I was traveling with hadn't eaten and, of course, had packed a peanut butter sandwich. Obviously we didn't eat our peanut products and, even though I had to delay gratification for a bit with the Snickers, it wasn't the end of the world.
In gratitude for all the people who have gone out of their way to help us keep Harper safe over the years, I'm more than happy to return the favor.