We admittedly live in the allergy capital of the world. We do. Every morning, my car is covered in a thick yellow dust. Like the kind of film thick enough to write dirty missives in stranger’s windows. “I’m a dick,” you write and laugh. Yeah, laugh it up — cause in about ten minutes you’re gonna wipe your nose with a pollen-filthy finger and wish you weren’t such an asshole. Walk a block downtown and you’ll find your black tank top lightly dusted in the itchy stuff. It’s bad. It’s nasty. It’s part of a Greenville spring. And it’s no exaggeration.
But my kid. Man alive. I can handle it; he can’t. And I swear to Buddha, he’s suffering for my bad behavior. I usta make fun of people who had kids with allergies. OK? I did. “Pussies.” I’d snicker at the allergy-table cafeteria kids. “Suck it the fuck up and eat a peanut.”
Lookit, I’m evil. Get used to it. I hate weakness. And I hate other people’s kids. And I hate other people’s kids being weak. And bitch-ass mommies that cater to stupid demands and whiny voices and obnoxious dirty faces. I loathe whining and I can abide sensitivity. I’m sorry! It’s who I am. Don’t mistake me — I can (and often do) complain as much as the next person. But at least I have the decency to do it ironically. Get a laugh while I’m belly aching. Seriously.
But rest easy. I’m getting mine. All that unskillful karma in this life and others has come back to bite me in the arsehole. Or bite my kid. Right up his cute little bedonkacoleydonk. You happy now?
Since year one, the Kaiser’s been plagued by allergies. It gets worse each year although, if it gets worse than this, we’re gonna have to relocate. Not. Even. Joking.
I dose him with a full-to-the-brim teaspoon of Claritin in the morning. By afternoon, he’s sniffing and sneezing and rubbing his eyes. Today we came home early from his pre-school Easter party. Without giving it much thought, I let him play in the fenced-in backyard. We run, we jump, we kick the soccer ball around. His best friend Hayden (and my best friend, Karen) come over at 6 for dinner and more play. It’s still daylight, so we let the boys romp in the yard.
It hit suddenly. The Kaiser starts pawing at his eyes. And he simply cannot stop. They’re surrounded by dark, dark circles. The eyelids and underneath are swollen. The white isn’t white, but blood red and bright with veins. They water constantly, his little face wet with salty tears. It’s bad, guys. Just looking at the kid makes my own eyes water. And he’s three. So he doesn’t know, can’t understand that he must stop rubbing them. He wipes them on my jeans, on the couch, against the ottoman, the wicker chair.
A bath alleviated the issue, for about five minutes. Back the incessant itching. In the end, I threw up my hands and pulled out the Benadryl. I don’t know what else to do. It didn’t really help. Yet. Hopefully he’ll sleep well and wake happy. If the last few mornings are any indication of tomorrow, then no, it’ll be worse.
At this point I’m fairly convinced that my hatefulness toward allergy-inclined children must be causing my child to suffer. It’s like — no, this can’t be coincidence. As much as I laughed (even on the inside, and trust me — what I thought on the inside was so, so vile), I surely had it comin’. I’m kidding…sorta. I’ll do anything to make it stop, to let the kid get some relief. I’ll stop stepping on ants. I’ll not send any more evil IMs to mah cohorts at work. I won’t glare at anyone in Wal-Mart. I’m serious, karma. Lay off the kid and I’ll lay off the evil.