It’s been difficult returning. A month turned into two, then a year, a second, and, voila, three years.

I recently winced inside – and hopefully not visibly – when I saw a baby at the local Target store. His face was red, peeling, and crusty around the edges, and he looked very much like our son at the same age (about 1 year old). At first, I didn’t think the mother would want anyone to make a spectacle of her child. But thinking back to our journey, I decided having something to grasp onto in explaining her baby’s condition may be helpful and, assuming food allergies are the culprit, she may appreciate seeing that things can get better. So, I said “excuse me,” asked if her baby has food allergies, and – pointing to my son – said my son looked like hers at that age because of allergic reactions to food.

The mother instinctively said yes and rattled off a number of allergens – “milk, wheat, peanuts, shrimp, …” She also threw in “eczema,” the catch-all-phrase doctors use when they don’t know the answer to skin reactions. Needless to say, she has her work cut out for her. Hopefully we can help others like her in the same boat traveling through Allergyland.