I have redrafted four times what should be a simple post. This is punishment, perhaps, for attempting to render artfully what one just ought to say: The wondering is over. The Newcomer has no allergies.

I did not expect to know this yet. The Newcomer is but 9 months old, and in the world of allergy testing that is, to put it simply, too young. By this I mean, we have been told that allergy tests given to young children can result in one thing this month, and another thing the next. But, during the Newcomer’s 9 month well-child appointment, during which a blood test for lead is normal, our pediatrician said, “Why don’t we have her tested for allergies, too?”

Oh yes. Just throw that in there. Just supersize those French fries. Just upgrade your side to the soup and salad bar.

(Last chance to make food jokes?)

So there we had it. The Newcomer would receive an allergy test. We would receive, in a week, the results of an allergy test. And they did come, today.

I had to look at the paper for half a minute to even understand what I was seeing. A chart. Numbers—many zeros. And then words (ohthankyouthankyouthankyouforwords): “Please inform results including allergy testing are normal. Thanks.”

A banal statement.

An earth-shattering statement.


I should rejoice—where is my rejoicing? Truly, I am happy, but I am stunned. Caring for a child with food and environmental allergies is a game of half-truths, of almost knowing, of doing your best, of wishes and prayers. It is strange to know I don’t have to—it is strange to know. I had braced myself to do this again. I may even have welcomed it, because I know I can. We can. And she would be safe with us, because we can.

What strange grace this is. My Oddnivore, you continue to earn your name.