Dear Katherine -
The last time I wrote you a letter, you were a freshman about to start high school. I remember how nervous I was because you were going to embark on new territory - overnight trips without me, clubs, parties and boys. I wondered how you were going to assimilate when I wasn't there to control the food that was served?
Well, you did it! Through careful planning you were able to participate in band trips that took place in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Sure, I packed you enough food that could last 10 days for a 3 day trip, but you were prepared to fight hunger and feed your friends too. I remember picking you up from the bus after a trip and how you would describe in detail how much fun you had with your friends, and the parties and sites you were able to see. I was thankful that you didn’t have an allergic reaction and that you arrived home safely. You now have a taste of freedom and a boost in self confidence knowing that you can travel independently.
You have been to a few sweet sixteen parties. Sometimes you had to bring your own food but it didn’t bother you. You always came home smiling and laughing. You became accustomed to having your own food and your friends knew about your allergies so they were used to it too. But it was a treat when the catering hall was able to prepare a special meal for you. You were certain that food allergies were not going to stop you from going to a party and being with your friends.
And boys....You’ve been asked out a couple of times and I see how you are becoming more comfortable in telling boys about your food allergies. Remember, you will have to date a nice guy who cares about you and is willing to learn about your food allergies. If he can’t, then it could be that he is not ready to handle it, and that’s okay. You move on!
Finally, I want to let you know how proud I am of you. You took control of your food allergies and you are living the full life of a teenager. But as a reminder, I’m here if you need me.