As if being emotional about your baby growing up and starting school wasn't enough, the added worry about him being safe around food in a school that encourages in-class snacks made it twice as hard to handle. Everyone kept telling me, "Hang in there, Momma! All parents go through it! He'll have fun!" I do believe that and those all those comforting words helped soothe some fears. After all, I put him in public school because my child thrives on social interaction and I will not keep him in a bubble because of his food allergies (Secretly I want to but that's the Mommy in me!).
His previous daycare/preschool was owned and operated by family so I haven't faced sending him to a new place with new people until now. Of course, I was worried and suffered typical separation anxiety (still, "Normal Mommy Syndrome"). But it's added worry when sending my peanut/tree nut allergic child to a place where peanut butter is a staple for most snacks and lunches and no family is present to watch out for him. To best describe how I felt, I had the normal "Mommy" fears pressing down on me: Will he make new friends? Will he be able to eat plenty of lunch in time? What will he do if he gets confused and doesn't know where to go? But on top of all that, it felt like there was another massive weight. It was almost like a HUGE boulder and it was called "Food Allergies." Will he sit next to someone eating a peanut butter sandwich? Will that kid get it on his/her fingers and wipe it on the table where my son can come into contact with it? If so, how quick can his medicine be given to him and how fast will they call me? Will he be left out of school parties if another parent brings unsafe snacks and cookies?
I felt so helpless and yes, I stayed home from work that day! Did I cry when I left? Yes, as did many other moms that day. It was so hard to make myself walk out of the classroom and leave him there with strangers, but he made it through his first day just fine! Needless to say, getting him prepared and making sure he had medications at the school, that was a whole other dance in itself. But I have a wonderful support group of friends and family and thanks to everyone that helped me thru it, checked on me, cheered me up, and gave me words of advice. :)
And I found this today on a new blog that I am following: "First Day of School with Food Allergies" from The Nut-Free Mom Blog. Gave me a bit of inspiration to help me keep a positive outlook on school :)