"Can you please check the ingredients in the tea sandwiches?" I asked the waiter at the Four Seasons.
As a treat throughout my growing up, my mom would take me "out for tea" at the Four Seasons. They were always fabulous there about my allergies! They were very thorough, and would check and double check everything. I would usually order hot chocolate to drink. I loved it because it would come out in a tea pot, and next to it on the platter, was a small bowl filled with homemade whipped-cream. As someone who grew up enthralled by every American Girl book, and a proud owner of a Samantha doll, I loved to feel like I could dress up and play tea party too! Aside from the hot chocolate, I was always able to order tea sandwiches. They would come out on this tall tiered tray. My favorites were turkey and cucumber! Of course I could never order any desserts, but that never bothered me.
I remember the day though, when my enjoyment for going "out to tea" ended. I was probably around twelve when we went for the last time. I order the same things I had always ordered, and asked the waiter to double check on all of the ingredients, but prefaced it with saying that I had come here many times and ordered the same foods. The waiter came back and told me that I couldn't have the whipped-cream anymore, or the tea sandwiches. I was so disappointed! After that, it just wasn't the same! It took away from the fun- not being able to eat anything!
Often there are times when I feel like I am missing out. It has always been that way, and is really just a fact at this point, but I still find myself disappointed sometimes. I really do enjoy food, so I feel like I am missing out by having allergies to so many foods! I usually stick with Italian restaurants when I go out to eat. I think that I would really like sushi, Chinese food, Indian, and Mexican food though, if I wasn't allergic. I am not a picky eater either. I will happily try any food as long as I am not allergic to it. There is also nothing that I really hate eating. I am a very healthy eater also! You will never find me eating fast food! Pizza is as close to fast food as I will come!
I do have a sweet tooth! Every time I walk by a bakery, I feel like I am missing out, not being able to try all the eye-catching, delicious smelling cakes, cookies, and other desserts. When I was in Italy, I couldn't try any gelato. That was hard for me because I love ice cream! I was there in the summer too, when it was so hot, and all I wanted was something cool and refreshing! Whenever I travel, it is hard to find ice cream, or anything sweet that doesn't contain nuts. It makes it very difficult! A fun part about traveling as well, is being able to try different foods that you normally wouldn't eat. This is something I really wish I could do!
There have also been countless times when I have sat and watched everyone else eat, while I couldn't be served, or eat anything. I went out for a tea lunch with my grandmother, aunt, and mom. There wasn't one thing I could eat or drink! Everything was cross contaminated. We thought I would be able to at least eat a salad, so I went on an empty stomach and sat there while they ate. When this happens, I try to just enjoy the company that I am in, and not focus on the food. That is really all I can do! When I was younger, that was much more difficult to focus on though! Children don't understand how to focus on other things. They are hungry, so they want food, and they want it now! Fair enough though!
I know I am always going to be missing out on certain things, but I also try to remember all the things that I am lucky enough not to miss out on! It is something that I am sure I could not focus on though until I was older. For kids, the best way to get around this, is finding ways for them to feel like they are special and have their own treats or food. It is also nice to find restaurants and places that will work with their allergies, so they and you can relax and enjoy food together!