Our little Cate is suffering from several allergies. We recently had her tested and it turns out she is allergic to cats (which we knew) and dogs (which we didn’t) and dust mites (do you blame her?). “I’m allergic to all my favorite pets!” she moaned.
“You like dust mites for a pet?” Jem retorted.
She is also severely allergic to certain tree pollens and has been known to blow up like a balloon after sniffing flowers and rubbing pretty leaves across her face.
We are slowly implementing a variety of household changes. We can’t get rid of Ellie of the Dog—heaven forbid we’d get rid of Ellie the Dog—but we can keep her out of Cate’s bedroom, (not a problem, since going upstairs is a special treat for Ellie), and we can treat her with Allerpet.
Ellie, that is. Not Cate.
We need to dust more, vacuum more, do laundry more, clean more. Good thing that’s my strong suit! (Ha.) We also need to stay on top of Cate’s allergy medication, because when we don’t she really suffers.
Jem has been watching these allergic reactions unfold with one eyebrow raised. He is not convinced, I don’t think, that the problem is as bad as all that—a result of being closest to Cate in age and as such, a bit competitive.
They’re siblings. This is normal.
Yesterday, when I brought out the watercolors for a lesson on the “wet into wet” technique, Cate opted to stay on the couch (where she had been all morning) and watch rather than participate. Her muscles were sore and it hurt to sit up.
Seeing a second lesson unfold before me, I commented on her decision to Jem. “You know that she loves art,” I said. “She must really feel bad if she’s willing to miss it.”
Again, the eyebrow went up. I could tell that he was thinking hard and a few minutes later he drew me aside. “Do you think,” he whispered into my ear, “That I could set up a space for her to paint at the couch?”
I froze. This was way outside my comfort zone.
“I’d cover everything with newspaper!” he promised. “Please, Mom?”
I knew that I needed to agree to this request—more importantly, though, I knew that Jem needed me to agree. Like most moments of grace, it came unexpectedly and I needed just to yield.
I did, and it was worth it.
(I think! : )
Ed. Note: Wouldn’t you know that Cate did indeed overturn the paint tray? And wouldn’t you know that it landed neatly on the newspaper spread out below? God is good and so is grace.