Monday, September 21, 2009

Bee Happy

My daughter got stung by a bee yesterday in the neighbor's yard. Her rescuer was the dad. He scooped her up, took out the stinger and put meat tenderizer on her wound, then brought her over, absolutely screaming in his arms, over the fence into my yard. He felt so badly, and I smiled, tried to calm her down, thanked him and brought her inside, where I quickly got out some ice, and turned on the TV. I firmly believe in distraction and she was very upset to even hear my words. Of course I hugged her, tried to help her but nothing worked. Except Dora the Explorer on TV. Of course, right when she's calming down (and I have no doubt it really hurt; she's a tough girl, can handle a lot of bumps, scrapes and bruises but this really got her riled up) her brother Reid would come in and ask what happened. To which she'd scream out, renewing her tears, "A BEE! A DEAD BEE STUNG ME AND IT HURTS! A DEAD BEE!" (lots of tears) Reid, being the ever so compassionate , encouraging brother then said "Where is it?" (meaning the bee) and she's crying. So i made Reid leave the room. Every five minutes he'd come back after she'd calmed down and ask, "Does it hurt?" Oh my! Again, the tears would commence. I'm not sure it was delight in seeing Katie hurt and upset or just a fascination with a bee sting. (I don't think Reid has ever been stung) He wanted detailed information of how it happened, what if felt like and where this dead bee was so he could see it himself.

So much for brotherly love.

After 20 minutes of this cycle, Katie finally insisted that the only way to make it feel better was a band-aid. (I am a firm believer that band-aids are magic and what would a mom do without them?) My first child did not even know what a band-aid was until he was 3 because when he was hurt, hugs and a kiss to the affected spot were magic, but then I introduced band-aids and the other 2 grew up on the magic of band-aids which may be a good thing because I'm not sure I'd want to kiss Katie's foot.

I do think that distractions can be useful tools in life. I now realize that for me while running it's easier to endure if I'm talking (wheezing) with a friend or listening to my ipod, concentrating on the music instead of my own discomfort.

I know this was only a bee sting and I think I was right in what I did. To try to reason wither a 4 year old is rarely a good idea and she was smart enough to know: she hurt! She had reason to be screaming! To console her too much would just draw attention to the injustice of the bee sting. I don't want her to hate bees or be afraid of them. To explain that's just what sometimes happen, assure she'll be okay and facilitate in making her feel better by the ice, the tv, and the band-aid made sense. I'm not sure I'd do that in every situation but this warranted it. (plus, I am not as compassionate as most because it's true: this stuff happens. To everyone. And most people that aren't allergic to bee stings are going to be just fine.)

So what are your thoughts on life's hurts? Do band-aids heal or conceal? To never let them heal by dwelling exclusively on them? Or to be distracted by a myriad of things? Does it matter what things we distract ourselves with? I know for me I feel that certain distractions are unhealthy, such as drugs or alcohol or excessive eating. But what about other distractions that seem okay? shopping, (oh wait; I guess that one's not deemed as okay!) exercise, cleaning and organizing? Can those things also be unhealthy distractions? Sometimes I wonder what is true healing and what encourages it? Not to run away, not to numb the pain, not to reopen the wound to the world, complaining constantly but doing nothing to help it, not to let it fester and get worse under the band-aid of distraction. It's so easy to say "allow God to heal you" but what exactly IS that?

BTW: Yes, I was within 2 inches of the bees to take these pictures. Perhaps photography is MY distraction..... hmmmmm....Or perhaps it's reading.... or writing... or this very blog.

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