Winter is a tough season for our food allergy family. Coming off the heels of multiple food-centered celebrations, we are literally exhausted. Tremendous planning, safe proofing, and stress are all a part of the holiday season. We traveled through Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s with flying (allergic reaction-free) colors only to land at two upcoming food-centered celebrations: Superbowl Sunday and Valentine’s Day. With only a few weeks of breathing room between the two seasons, our family needed a break!
My amazing extended family invited us to go snow skiing. I grew up skiing every year but it had been over twenty years since I’d hit the slopes. None of my four children had ever been before. With ages ranging from 4 to 16 years old, they were all eager to learn to ski and snowboard. I was a little apprehensive at first, as I always am when we encounter a new and unfamiliar environment in which I have to assess the dangers for my son with severe food allergies, but we were up for the adventure. And we needed it.
Between private snow boarding lessons for the oldest and ski school for the younger three, they all took to it quickly! The lovely thing about ski school was that they fed them nothing. NOTHING. That is heavenly music to a food allergy mom’s ears. Just heavenly. I didn’t have to worry about what they were feeding my son or what the other children were eating that my son may be allergic to. I almost cried when they told me there was no food served. I was able to ski the slopes, only worrying about the normal parent stuff but not the food allergy stuff! Of coarse, I was never more than a few minutes away from their location, but on this day, I was not hovering.
Thank you Appalachian Ski School for handing the children back to their parents for a one and a half hour break for lunch. Thank you for starting ski school at 10 am. Thank you for ending ski school at 3:30 pm. Thank you for arranging the day so that parents could feed their children snacks and lunch so that you did not need to. Praise God my son could learn to ski without the usual worry about food. And I could ski too. I treasured every second. It was relaxing and exhilarating all at the same time. You food allergy parents out there know what I mean.
My children learned a skill that will stick with them for life. They learned it together. They learned it safely. We were all able to appreciate the beauty of God’s artwork and the natural playground He created for us. Now that’s a family vacation! We all needed a little break. It was just the refreshment necessary to keep us pushing forward.
“For they refreshed my spirit and yours also. Such men deserve recognition.” 1 Corinthians 16:18