I don’t know what his name is. Maybe it’s Peter or Jake or Brandon. It’s his first day of school. And the excitement is radiating out of him. He has been waiting for this day for as long as he can remember. For years he was watched his old sister get on the school bus and head off to adventures he can only dream of. But today is his big day. He’s ready. Dressed in his new favorite shirt, jeans and some awesome new sneakers, he’s got this! There is a tinge of nervousness there. Of course there is. This is all so unknown. But today the anticipation of what lays ahead as he walks into that school for the first day is predominately joy and pride. He’s a big boy now.
I don’t know what her name is. Maybe it’s Karen or Cathy or Sandra. It’s her little boy’s first day of school. And she is excited for him. She knows how long he’s been waiting for this day. To follow in his big sister’s footsteps and head off on that school bus into a new and exciting world. He’s ready. She knows he is. He’s bright and kind and she is confident that he will excel. He was beaming this morning as he put on his new favorite shirt and jeans and the sneakers that he fell in love with at the store and just had to have for school. She is full of joy and pride. He’s a big boy now. But her excitement is overshadowed by fear.
She didn’t have this fear when her older child started school. She didn’t need it. You see her little man, the one so excited to start school today has a very real and very serious peanut allergy. It’s not a sensitivity. It’s not a mild reaction. It is a life threatening allergy that could easily and swiftly take her little boy’s life. Just like that. She has prepared him as best she can. He understands his allergy. He knows, as best he can, what to avoid. But he’s five remember. And sometimes these things aren’t obvious. All it takes is one small mistake, one high five from a kid that just ate a peanut butter sandwich. One child at the lunch table with a chocolate chip cookie that sat next to a peanut butter cookie in the bakery. One little thing.
This is the one and only reason you need to realize that yes peanut free schools (especially in the lower grades) are ok. This little boy. He is the only reason any of us need. Period. I’m going to stand by my 1 reason being much more important than your 12. I’m pretty sure Karen or Cathy or Sandra would agree.