Detective Mommy

Being a parent means taking on a whole lot of roles—chef, chauffeur, public relations specialist, maid, and so on.  With the diagnosis of Jacob’s allergies, we took on the role of detective as well, and so far, it’s one of my least favorites.

Although the allergist did a skin test to determine what Jacob is allergic to, there’s no test to tell how and to what degree his reactions are going to manifest themselves.  No test other than trial and error, that is.

Thankfully, we have a good pediatrician and allergist working with us to figure out how the little man’s system works.  But all the information they get essentially comes from me.  I need to know when he reacted, what might have caused the reaction, and track how effective our treatment was.  I think I should be writing down more of this than I am. In my own defense, it was overwhelming at first to consider recording every food we ate, everything he touched, every sign of dry or itchy skin.  I felt like I’d be writing down every moment of our lives, and then there was still a chance I’d miss something.

For me, this is where prayer comes in. Parenting in general, and tending to Jacob’s allergies in particular, are tasks far greater than John and I can successfully accomplish on our own.  Every day we need grace, we need strength, and we need perspective.

If I believe in the value of any daily activity—besides eating and breathing—it’s prayer.  When I’m frustrated, when I’m anxious, when I don’t think I can wrap my head around the giant responsibility on my shoulders, I can turn to Someone else.  John and I are not doing this alone, and when I take the time to admit that, to be thankful for that, I am inevitably rewarded with a humungous dose of perspective.

Dealing with Jacob’s allergies has been humbling.  There’s only so much I can know and so much I can do as a parent.  I’m not always going to have the right answer.  The best I can do is make sure I have my head on straight (i.e. don’t freak out because I can’t find wheat-free English muffins in Park Slope) and then trust, trust, trust.

I went to Confession last weekend and the priest rightly told me I needed to pray more.  “God wants to help you; He will help you,” he said. Time and again my experience has proven he’s exactly right.

Jacob’s allergies are not the end of the world, but even if they were, I know I have a help, a rock, a stronghold to see me through.

Amen!

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