Jealousy burns, bitter and sour, a shield against hurt and anger. Frustration.
Some parents get to look at a treat lovingly prepared by their kids, and see the pride, the smiling faces. All they have to fear is a bit of dust, unclean hands. Unique flavoring, and how exactly to keep themselves from betraying their misgivings.
And then there's the food allergy parent. The corn allergy parent, to be exact.
My loving kids ransacked their brains and raided the kitchen. They found bananas, strawberries, and chocolate chips. They searched the cupboards for real chopsticks. They put two and two together and tucked them, secretly, into the freezer. A few hours later, they began bugging me for popsicles.
I knew something was up...but not what.
I treasure the pride, the ear-to-ear grins, the shining eyes.
But they were out of safe bananas last time I went to the store. And I tend to react to store bought strawberries.
So all I could do was squish them up tight in a hug, grin back my tears, and thank them from the bottom of my heart, while breaking theirs.
Maybe it's not such a big deal to say "not right now" if you don't have food allergies. Maybe just the restrictions make food itself seem like a much bigger deal than it is. But it gets old, being on my toes all the time.
Choosing whether to grin and bear the digestive disturbances that go on and on and on...or the discomfort of being in the spotlight.
I know the grass is always greener. We have so much to be thankful for. But tonight, I'm feeling sad.
And in dire need of a chocolate covered banana that hasn't been gassed to ripen properly. At least the kids aren't too old to snuggle up and watch "Road to El Dorado" with me. A good snuggle and a funny movie might just make up for it all.
Well, that and a handful of chocolate chips.