“Making the decision to have a child–it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” –Elizabeth Stone
I love this quote.
And I have two of my hearts out walking around.
One I’m kind of starting to relax about. Note: I said kind of… I will probably be worrying about him when he’s forty and starting to bald. He’s a joy to my heart. And I love watching him. I miss not being involved with him on a day to day basis. He’s doing good though. College has not proved to be the big bad world for him. He likes it. He’s doing well. And only I want to shake sense him occasionally.
The other heart is just entering my extreme worry zone. She’s 13. We have five years to share with her. And now with the experience of Connor, I know that those five years are going to go by in a blink of an eye.
Yesterday, she scared her father and I. She came into contact with an allergen. Who knows what it was? Peanut dust, soy of some kind, we’re not sure. She did admit to eating chicken salad with pecans… but she has always thrown up immediately after eating something. The thing was, we weren’t there when she starting getting symptoms.
Sean and I and another couple went out for lunch rather than have sandwiches. The one time we leave… of course, something is gonna happen! When we walked into the school where the volleyball tournament was, someone grabbed us, and said, “Katy’s having an allergic reaction!”. My heart sank for her. Not only was I worried for her health, but her personally. She hates having allergies. Really hates it. Would rather no one know anything about it. Is mortified by the fact that her body won’t accept certain foods.
So Sean and I are looking at her. After the 11 years that we have known about her food allergies, we’ve gotten good at deciding whether or not to stab with the epi-pen or not. And we called her aunt, who thankfully, works for an allergist. We had the inhaler, the benadryl, the allegra and the epi-pen ready to go. Her reaction though, was very similar to one she had two years ago. She had swollen eyes, nose, and hives all over her body in random spots. Her airway is not swelling shut, there are no hives on her tongue… and she’s not nauseous.
And then there was her team. Sitting close by, wondering if they could help, Katy by this point, just wants to die of embarrassment. And boy does she not want the epi-pen. She’s always been positive that she’s not normal because of her allergies. And there had been some instances where people were not kind to her in grade school, with some teasing about the allergies. So I could tell she was worried. She saw in their eyes, only concern for their teammate. Wanting to help, wanting to just be there for her. Sorry that she was hurting, no scorn or laughter.
As a parent, that’s the biggest fear in your life, that something could hurt your child. Parents of children with allergies have learned to drill into the children to ask about ingredients, to always have them prepared for situations. And as much as you prepare your child, something can happen. Someone can touch a volleyball with peanut dusty fingers, a friend can give you a rice krispy treat that wasn’t homemade, you can have a sip of a root beer float in which someone put Reese’s pieces into, all which have happened to my kids. And you deal with it. You go on.
But I can’t control other people’s reactions. You just can’t. And what Katy’s fear was ~ was that her team wouldn’t be the same with her. Instead she saw concern for her. She didn’t get laughed at. She saw only friendship. She continued to play and play well for the remaining two games of the tournament. She was itchy. She was tired with all the Benadryl coursing through her system. But she was elated and comforted by the kindness of her team. They saw she was okay, and they moved on. And she loved that. Then when Katy’s day just couldn’t get any better, her team won the tournament.
And my heart melted just a little bit. Because she was so happy.