Thursday, June 17, 2010
A Safe School Year and Summer Break (TTT 131)
My loot upon picking up my son from his last day of Kindergarten:
Used medication: Inhaler, asthma medication, benedryl
Unused medication: 2 Epipen Jrs
The unused medication brought me overwhelming relief, feelings of triumph and thankfulness. The unused Epipens make me feel so happy.
I tear up when I think about it. He made it through Kindergarten! It sounds dramatic. I know how it sounds. The threat is real. The fear is real. The school year is long.
His teacher...his amazing teacher...told me that she was so relieved to make it through the year without any problems. She was not the only school staff member to admit to me that fearful tears were shed early in the year.
We did it.
We kept his classroom peanut free. His teacher sent note after note home to the parents about peanut free snacks. Snacks were left in the staff work room for me to check the labels. Party items were left in the staff work room for me to check labels. Parents bought items off of our peanut free snack list. Parents bought candy off of our peanut free candy list. Parents brought the snacks early for me to check out before the party celebration at school. Calls and emails came to me days before parties and sometimes the day of a party. My son sat at a peanut free table at lunch. Kids were so aware that they told on my son for having sunbutter at the peanut free table. My son questioned the treat left (not in a prepackaged box) by the Leprechans on St. Patrick's day. My son never sat alone at the peanut free table. Parents told me they went on special shopping trips so they could provide peanut free lunches for their child who desperately wanted to sit with my son.
And more- there's so much more that I am not thinking of...
Staff members emailed me or left me notes about concerns. I was called and texted about special school-wide parites or classroom celebrations. My son's teacher carried an Epipen with her daily- each and every day of the school year. At the beginning of the year, the aide that was on duty on the playground would stop by my son's room just to see what color shirt he was wearing so she could keep up with him. I heard parents at PTO events suggest to their child not to have a peanut filled candy bar so they could sit with my son. I saw children chose not to have peanut butter candy so they could be with my son.
So many people, children, parents, teachers, staff members, worked together to make sure that my son was safe at school.
I am thankful. I tried to express it in a note to a few staff members but it was impossible to find the words.
How do you thank someone for protecting your child's life? At the end of the year, I am proud of him for excelling in school. I am so proud. But, my relief and my thankfulness overshadow everything like a mountain over shadows a speed bump. I can't help it.
My son gets it, too. He understands. He said he wanted to draw a picture for his teacher for the last day of school. Then he changed his mind and asked if he could make her a card. He asked for help spelling out the words. It was heart warming and heart wrenching to help him spell out his thankfulness for safety. I wonder if this was his teacher's first thank you note for safety.
I thank God for the people that helped keep my son safe at school.
I thank God that he made it through Kindergarten without an allergic reaction to peanuts.
Along with my son's medication, I brought my son home for summer break.
There's no break from food allergies.
But, all the same, it's nice to be on summer break. It's nice to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with my son. Call me overprotective. I know. It's true. I realize it won't get easier as he gets older and leaves home more often.
But, for me right now, it's all the more reason to cherish every moment this summer.
I am thankful for summer break.
I am thankful for a safe school year.
I am thankful for summer break.
This is my Thursday Thanks Tank (TTT 131).