We celebrated two birthdays in the past week, and Charlie was safe for both of them. The first one was for the son of our friends, who recently moved back to Lincoln. He’s a little older than Max and he’s a great kid – friendly and sweet and generally the sort of kid you want your own little guys to be hanging out with.
His birthday party was at the YMCA, complete with a bounce house. Max and Charlie were bonkers in the week leading up to the party. They couldn’t wait. His parents checked with us to make sure their plans wouldn’t exclude Charlie, and as a result, he was able to stay for the entire party – the bounce house, the games afterward – everything. There was no food there, only apple juice and water. MK and I were relaxed the entire time, Charlie ran around playing with the kids like there was no difference between him and them at all. And their son beat me at Connect 4. Everyone went home happy.
If you can find friends that understand food allergies and will go to such lengths to be accommodating as our friends were, you are lucky. We are lucky.
The other birthday was mine. Yesterday, I took Max out for pizza. He rarely gets to eat out, so I like to treat him when I can. He drank chocolate milk, which prompted a long an exciting story about his friend from his daycare days, and was a happy little non-allergic dude. We celebrated today with cupcakes from a Cherrybrook Kitchen mix. The cupcakes were delicious and Charlie ate them with out any problems, as always.
We are getting a handle on this allergy thing. Life for our family has reached a new normal and, while it’s not always easy, it’s a good life. When we first realized how severe Charlie’s allergies are, I couldn’t see this sort of happiness in our future. I haven’t forgotten the seriousness of Charlie’s allergies and I watch him like a hawk – so does MK – but this ceaseless protecting is getting easier as we get more experienced. Our lives are getting better.