Some things just mean more than words can express. Sometimes it’s the little actions that mean the most.
I know I’ve touched on how downright frightening it can be to eat over someone else’s house. “Did they check for _____?”, “Do they know to watch out for _____?”, “They have kids, are things going to get cross-contaminated?” and “Maybe it’s better if I eat ahead, just in case.” When you, even as an adult, have food allergies or intolerances, it’s scary to eat anywhere that’s not your own kitchen/house. It’s even scarier when you’re meeting the person for the first time.
I had one of those experiences earlier this week. A friend of a close friend moved to my area, we decided to get together. I invited them over or suggested a few restaurants that have been particularly allergy-accommodating. And then they invited my husband and I over with an offer to cook. With four kids, the youngest being three, they were just more comfortable cooking and then hosting us I guess. I tried to politely let them know that I had allergies and I was a difficult guest to host for a meal. All my concerns were brushed politely aside. So my husband and I agreed to go.
We got there and everything was meticulously prepared to make sure that I could eat it. I can’t have a large number of fruit, but I can have blueberries and strawberries. Those were placed on a separate plate away from the other fruit for dessert.
And then the moment that made me want to cry: as the kids washed their hands to get fruit, my host tells them “Miss Katie gets really sick if she eats all the fruits not on the plate in front of her. If you want blueberries or strawberries, get those before you touch anything else, okay?” And the kids listened.
It was heartwarming and meant more than she could ever know. I haven’t felt safe eating anywhere for a few years, and here was a stranger, hosting me for the first time and having never met me before, that just got it. Got it without fully knowing my history. Got it without going through her own allergy issues.
All I could say was “Thank you.” Because sometimes there just aren’t enough words to express how thankful you are.