p>Ugh. That’s how I’ve been feeling since Friday.  I have been emotional and teary.  I’m not someone who cries very often but it seems as though everything is making my eyes fill with tears lately.  First it was the horrific news of the shooting in Connecticut.  I just can’t understand how someone could do something so horrible.  I have a huge soft spot for children and am easily brought to tears when I hear about any suffering that a child has gone through.  I just can’t get Friday’s events out of my head.  Everywhere I go and everything I do makes me think about those poor children, teachers and families and what they went through and are still going through.  I’d like to share a couple of things that I’ve come across over the past few days.
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This is a comfort to me.  I believe that those little children are in a better place now even as they are dearly missed on earth.

The other thing that happened on Friday is that my 4-year-old niece was rushed to the hospital.  She is allergic to dairy, eggs and nuts.  She had been at day care and had eaten her lunch (all things that she’s had safely before) while sitting in between two kids that had dairy products in their lunches.  After lunch her day care provider noticed that she had hives.  She called my sister and then gave my niece some Benadryl.  My sister arrived about 20 minutes later, followed by my niece’s father.  By that time my niece was covered head to toe in hives.  They took her into the bathroom away from the other children’s curious eyes and gave her a shot of epinephrine and then called 911.  Two ambulances and a fire truck arrived within 10 minutes and took her to the hospital.  In total she was given 3 doses of Benadryl, 2 shots of epinephrine (EpiPen) and IV steroids.  She was in the hospital for about 6 hours before getting cleared to go home.  This is another thing that keeps making me tear up.  I think about the worst that could happen.  I think about my sister and what she goes through every day.  The fear that she lives with.  Dairy and eggs are everywhere!  How can she ever be sure that her precious daughter won’t be exposed?  Even having dairy splashed on her skin makes her break out in hives.  What happens when she starts attending kindergarten?  What if a teacher or supervisor or substitute doesn’t react immediately at the first sight of one hive?  What if they aren’t even watching for them?  What if they think it’s not a big deal?  What if she’s out on the playground after lunch and nobody notices?  What if the other kids don’t wash their hands and she touches something after they do?  There are so many ways that she can be exposed and so many things that can go wrong.  How does a parent live with that fear?  A parent needs to do everything they can to protect their child from harm but at what point are they going overboard and being too protective?  It’s very important to trust that God can protect your children from harm but what if he doesn’t choose to?  What if he has other plans?  I believe Romans 8:28  “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  But even though I believe that it is still hard to accept all the possibilities and even harder for people who don’t have a strong faith in God.  How do you protect your child and trust at the same time?  I don’t know the answers.  I don’t know what I would do if I was in my sister’s shoes.

I made a big mistake a couple of weeks ago.  I took my niece to ballet and I forgot her emergency kit (EpiPen, inhaler, Benadryl) at home.  My sister got home while we were still out and saw it on the island and texted me to tell me.  I felt awful.  I’m considering buying some Benadryl and keeping it in my car or purse just in case.  I tend to be kind of forgetful.  It’s not that I don’t realize how important it is to always have that stuff with me when I have the kids but somehow I still can forget these things.  I know that if they were my kids I would have an extra of everything in my purse (or car) at all times just to make sure that I never forgot.

A couple of weeks ago I was babysitting my niece and she was playing with her dolls.  She was happy playing on her own and only occasionally wanted me to join her.  I enjoy just watching her and listening to her.  Sometimes I record her with my phone because I love listening to the things that she says.  This time she was pretending that she was taking ‘blankey’ and ‘bunnie’ to the allergist.  They had to be tested for foods to see if they were still allergic to them.  I find it kind of cute but also kind of sad that this is how she plays make-believe.  Allergies are so much a part of her life that she incorporates them into her play time.  My nephew also has allergies and has recently been doing food testing at the allergist so that is where she likely came up with the idea.

On Friday I also teared up while talking to the youth pastor from my church.  I don’t what it is about him but he often seems to get right to parts of me that are kind of broken or injured.  He questions me and my actions and feelings a lot but he does it out of concern for me.  I can tell that he wants me to be as emotionally and spiritually healthy as possible.  After talking to him I always end up spending the rest of the day thinking about my issues and questioning myself and realizing that I have things that need healing in my life.  I always feel emotional.  I went through an ordeal many years ago and it has been a long slow healing process.  Three things in one day that kind of made me more sensitive than usual.  Friday can only be described as ‘ugh’.

So other than being extra touchy and tearing up at the drop of a hat all weekend everything else was fine.  I helped my friend move on Friday and decided that helping men move is way easier than women.  He did all the heavy stuff and wouldn’t really let me lift anything even though I kept offering.  I wasn’t even sore this weekend from helping him.  A few weeks ago I helped another friend and was sore for days from all the heavy lifting and carrying of boxes.  On Friday I didn’t end up going to the spinning class that I had been considering.  I have no excuse.  Saturday I got no exercise at all!  I basically sat on my butt all day.  First I was at work, then at the dropzone learning about skydiving stuff, then at a friends watching Christmas shows.  Plus I had a lot of driving to do to get everywhere.  Today (it’s after midnight but I still consider it Sunday) I was supposed to go for my long run but I ran out of time and decided to switch today’s run with tomorrow’s.  I ended up doing a 40 minute run today and tomorrow I will have to do about 1:30.  Hopefully I’ll feel like running tomorrow.  I expect it’ll be raining or maybe even snowing.

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