Halloween is a great time to reflect on how amazing food allergy parents are. My parents did everything from remembering my EpiPen to teaching me to ask about ingredients and more. Halloween can be a particularly tough time while raising a child with an allergy, and I wanted to share three examples of how my parents rocked (and continue to rock) at making Halloween awesome for me.
Keeping Halloween Fun
One thing that made me stand out as a young kid was that Christmas was not my favorite holiday growing up--Halloween was. Most kids who place Halloween over Christmas say so for the same reason: the candy.
As most of us with food allergies know however, the candy can sometimes be more of a trick than a treat. Being allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, this was especially true for me and my family.
Why was it so fun then? The parties!
Every year, my parents went all out for Halloween. First, they would volunteer to help at the school Halloween parties. This gave them a chance to make sure there was at least one family bringing peanut/tree nut-free candy, and always had plenty of non-food treats to hand out to everyone.
Besides this, they would also rent out a rollerskating rink near our house the night before Halloween and invite the kids in my class to come to a big costume party each year where I (and any other kids in my class with allergies that year) could eat all the candy we wanted while celebrating Halloween with our friends.
Trading Up after Trick-or-Treating
This example made Halloween fun for both my parents and me when I was young. When we would finish our night out, they would trade the candy I couldn't have for safe alternatives or non-food items.
This was fun for me because I walked away with more candy or a new toy or two, and my parents loved it because it gave them a once-a-year chance to pig out on the Reese's Cups the next day while I was at school. And just a disclaimer: they would be sure to do it while at work or somewhere else so it wasn't anywhere in the house or on shared surfaces.
Fast forwarding to my adult life, my parents still continue to be there for me—especially when it comes to my allergy. Some things, like (still) reminding me to take my EpiPen everywhere never change. But a big part of my allergy life has become starting AssureTech to help others and they do a great job supporting that too.
I’m living in Taiwan now and was disappointed I couldn’t participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project. I was talking to my parents on the phone one morning (their evening), and they said they wanted to help on my behalf.
My mom's always been incredibly artistic. She created the first teal pumpkin, stocked up on non-food treats, and then her and my dad printed out a bunch of pamphlets that they plan to distribute to everyone that comes to the door so next year, they‘ll think about ways to make Halloween safe and fun for everyone. And on top of all that, my mom offered to decorate a second teal pumpkin with my company logo on it to show her support for the work my team and I are doing.
There‘s dozens—if not hundreds—of other great examples of my parents supporting me and my allergy that I’ll try to share as this blogging effort continues.
But for the meantime, the entire AssureTech Team and I hope everyone has a safe and fun Halloween!