Novice to Expert?
Novice is defined as beginner per the online version of the Merrium-webster dictionary. Expert is defined as a person with a special skill or knowledge representing mastery.
Since so much of life revolves around food, I spend a lot of time talking about food, food allergies, and food safety. Due to my diligence (sometimes I think I may over do it; but hey, it’s all about keeping my little guy safe), several people have reached out to me for help or guidance or with questions. I will confess that I do quite enjoy providing education and assistance to others. Most people ask either out of curiosity or because they or someone they know have food allergies or may have them. These people are so much fun to talk with because they truly care and are interested in food allergies.
On occasion, I do run into the person who thinks I’m crazy and am an overprotective mom. These people are also a blessing. It helps me to become better versed on food allergies. I can be better at discussing the topic when I hear the opposing side. When talking about food allergies with these people, I must not only know our personal story and those of others but I also must know facts and scientific information. You see, these people force me to be better educated on food allergies.
Each one of these conversations, especially with those who think I’ve lost my mind, provide me with an opportunity to advocate for my Little Guy and, in some ways, for everyone with food allergies. It helps me to educate people of the real danger food allergies pose. After all, if we don’t advocate for our children, who will? No one cares for these little people more than parents. I take this to heart and remind myself of it when I feel like this is too much for me. It is my job to make sure he stays safe. Education, in my case, is key.
All parents start off as novice parents. They meet their child and immediately begin to learn how to care for that child. They must quickly adapt to a new way of life. As they adapt, the begin to understand the child’s needs and to gain confidence in caring for the child. In a very short time, they’ve educated themselves and have become an expert on their child.
That’s how I feel with the Little Guy’s allergies. Sure, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on food allergies and I’ll share my knowledge. But, just as every child is different, every child’s allergies are different. I feel very confident in taking care of my child’s allergies and feel knowledgable in allergies in general. Does this qualify me to say I’m an expert on food allergies? No, but I am an expert on the Little Guy’s and well-versed in food allergies.