Emotional at My Son's First Dance Recital

daytodaymoments food allergies
It's recital time for many families around the country, I never noticed until I finally joined in this year.
Just the thought of my son on stage, or part of something like it excited me, which was one of my main reasons for signing my son up to dance classes this past season.  The dance classes only took place once a week, but in the end they come together for a day of performances to showcase all that they learned.  Most families get to see their child get an
award or certificate, and even a performance in school during the elementary school years but because my children don't go to school, it's was only something I had previously wished for.

It was the only class in his whole life that we dropped him off for about an hour, and left him on his own without waiting right outside the door.  We took a larger step away and went downstairs into our car and waited for the class to end every week.  Actually a big deal for us, not to mention pretty risky considering the lack of empathy from the dance schools understanding of food allergies.  Severe food allergies are no joke, and a reaction can happen anytime.  Unfortunately it is very difficult to find people who truly understand the severity.  It doesnt help that food allergies come in many different level of severities, so it makes it hard for people to understand.  In the end, he made it through all the classes without any incidents despite things like candy being handed out and the instructors eating during class each time.

The dress recital day was this past Saturday, a day when parents drop off their child and pick them up later.  That day my husband chaperoned and stayed with him the entire time to keep our son safe.  There was no knowing who would eat what, and if something would accidentally come in contact with my son.  Sunday, the day of the recital came and my husband did the same.  He stayed backstage with my son and other children in his performing group.  I sat there in the audience with my youngest on my lap tugging at my shirt to nurse, and my 3 year old sitting by my side, I couldn't help but tear up.  I was hit by an overwhelming feeling of sadness, joy, and reality.  My son was nervous, adorable & did a great job; I enjoyed every moment of his short time on stage but couldn't look to my side to share the moment with my husband.  It wasn't how I pictured it when I signed him up.  But then again, life with food allergies, is the definition of life unplanned.
daytodaymoments life
But this was our life.  We don't get to sit together, and even on Father's Day my husband doesn't get to sit and watch.  He stood in a school hallway watching his son and other little kids; making sure everyone ate their snacks neatly and washed up after, all in an effort to keep our son safe.  We don't get to drop him off during dance classes and not worry.  We can't even send him to school...  We don't get to leave in a hurry out the door if we need to leave early and catch a bite to eat somewhere on the go.  We don't get to go out to dinner after to celebrate either.  There are no lunch dates with friends, there isn't even catching a bite to eat at grandmas house.  It all has to be managed, thoroughly thought out, and all meals have to be cooked at home by us.  While all the children get ice cream and treats from the ice cream truck outside the school, I pull out my bag from home to give them safe snacks.  Food unites people, and when we can no longer have the same foods as everyone else, it is very isolating.  You lose many friends and family because of it.

It was our first time about to see our son perform, and as I looked around the whole auditorium of families, I realized how very different our lives were.  I felt sad that we couldn't just be care free, and felt sad we didn't have smaller things to worry about.  I realized how very different our lives will always be.  But in the end I realized no matter how sad and no matter how challenging it all is, it is meant to be.  We are stronger because of our daily challenges, we never take the small things for granted that so many do every single day, and most importantly we are all closer as a family because of it.  I see the world through my children's eyes, they won't tell you they're missing out at all, instead they'll tell you all that they have in their lives.  They are right, we have more then we don't.

I've learned to be very optimistic.  I have my moments of sadness, but then I'm reminded that it is for a reason, and to accept life as it is while appreciating all the good that comes with the bad.  Count all the good stones, and not the bad - just kick those aside.  There's no point in counting the bad ones, specially if you can't do anything about it, concentrate on all the GOOD. 💖