By Kelley Barnett, leader of the Food Allergy Alliance of the MidSouth
I’m hesitant to praise my husband for being a dad, because that’s what he signed up for when we had children. But we all know how difficult being a food allergy parent can be, and he deserves the accolades.
Before terms like FA, ANA, and PN became common place in our household, it was him supervising the children when our youngest had an anaphylactic reaction. It was him, just being a wonderful dad, who immediately knew something was wrong, yet remained calm and took all of the right steps to care for our son.
Now, he chooses his wardrobe to the zoo and park based on what has cargo pockets large enough to carry epinephrine auto-injectors.
He asks me to help him decide on work snacks and lunches that are safe so he can hug and kiss our kids when he arrives home.
He encourages me in the formation and operations of the Food Allergy Alliance of the MidSouth (FAAM) for the sake of our son and his future with food allergies. He is FAAM’s one man “event staff”, as he calls himself, and does it without complaint.
He is who asked, “What about the dads?” as I planned FAAM’s events this year and mentioned a Mom’s Night Out.
Because he is an amazing and present father and mate, I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed managing our family’s food allergies. We always read about food allergy moms and how awesome we are (and rightly so), but what about the dads? Well, here he is, a food allergy dad who is involved, careful, considerate and gets just as giddy as I do when we find new and safe foods for our home.
He is Billy Barnett, food allergy dad extraordinaire. And we couldn’t be happier to call him ours.
Learn more about Kelley’s group, the Food Allergy Alliance of the MidSouth (FAAM), at www.faamidsouth.org.