Parent’s weekend truly is all about helping us parents feel good. No, to feel great. The feeling I had while on campus was that of pure joy, the variety that bubbles up from your core. You know the kind, hard to describe it, but it vibrates up and washes over you like the ray of sunlight after a robust storm. This last weekend, we enjoyed several brilliant days Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, where my son is a freshman. I had tears in my eyes the last time I was on that campus as we left him to begin his new journey. I had to fight back more tears this weekend.
Was it since my son seemed so confident and had found his spot? Nope. Was it since his room was clean? Nope. Or since he was changing before my eyes into a conscious, curious critical thinker? Nope. It was that he had fully owned his food allergy and asthma management and had created his own path, sans food allergy mama.
The food allergy/asthma baton has been passed.
As we ate every meal in the dining hall with him. The director of dining services and her management staff were incredible. They greeted us, chatted about talking to him about why did he dye his hair silver and how was school going. They took him under their wings. I commented about how lovely they were and Cyrus said something that just struck me. He explained that they were people too and he took just as much interest and time in them as they took in him. This is when I wanted to tear up, but did not.
At that moment, I realized the baton had been passed as he understood that honoring and respecting those who support his accommodations with passion instead of just performing a task, is true community. He found his community and embraced it. Earlier, he explained that he attended the going away party of his contact in the disability office and had already visited with his new contact as he is working on next year’s accommodations. His Epipens were hung noticeably on his dorm room wall with his emergency action plan close by. He keeps his trainers out in case he has the opportunity to train someone with short notice.
I am thrilled beyond words that his journey has begin and I have been retired. This has been my goal for last 18 years. Our relationship is morphing into something quite interesting and fulfilling. We talk endlessly about food allergy issues and some ideas he is exploring for his own community work. I just adore hearing his ideas and witnessing his excitement as I keep my ears and mind open and my lips closed (which is hard for a big mouth like me).
This phase of our food allergy life is different, authentic and simply amazing.