Tuesday April 24, 2012

I think I jinxed Erin today.  While walking with my friend Kula this morning, we chatted about our kids, as we always do.  One of the topics of conversation today was trips to the ER.  I bragged that Erin only went there once as a toddler when we thought she might have broken her foot.  Once until today.

Erin had an allergic reaction this morning, so she called from school, and by the time I got there, the hives were all over her torso, neck, and face.  A quick call to Family Med had them directing us to the ER to get her checked out.  Vitals were fine, and we are hoping that Benadryl and Zyrtec will alleviate the itching and that the hives will disappear in the next 24 hours, although they are still very present tonight.

It could be viral, but if it is an allergy, we probably won't know the cause unless it happens again.  One of the doctors joked that maybe Erin is allergic to school and Erin said she would gladly take that diagnosis!  In all seriousness, we're hoping it runs it's course quickly, but if not, we will investigate further.  The ER attending did mention that persistent hives are sometimes treated with steroids.  Erin looked at me as if the doc had said a four letter word and then chimed in: "I do not want to take steroids." We've all got some scar tissue...

We continue to carry on and live life, but in an effort to keep it real, we need to admit that some days we just kind of suck at it.  Erin has been struggling with "living up" to the standard that Shannon set.  This makes for a difficult parenting dilemma, because any time we ask or expect something and she feels like she falls short, Erin immediately equates it with failure to live up to the Shannon Standard, for lack of a better term.

Now, first of all, rarely does Erin not meet our expectations.  But, we do expect her to be considerate of us and, well, eat some fruits and vegetables.  Not too much to ask, but some days, that's enough to set her off.  On top of everything else she's been through, she's a hormonal tween, and her emotions can surface quickly.  There is no doubt that she feels more pressure than ever.  She told Dan and I that it's really hard because she is the only one we need to pay attention to now, and that's too much attention!

I think that my work on the book is also creating some confusing emotions for Miss E.  On some level, it feels like it is just more stuff about Shannon, although it's really about all of us.  We did share a funny moment last week, talking about when Shannon and Erin were younger and remembering that Shannon wasn't always kind to her little sister.  I had been going back through things that I have saved, and came across the journal that Shannon's second grade teacher, Mrs. Raasch, had them keep:

We had a good chuckle over Shannon's description of "lightly pushing" her sister, and that being able to make Erin mad actually made Shannon feel happy.  It was good to laugh with Erin about it and remind her that Shannon made mistakes, too.

So, we continue to try and counsel and console Erin, while still expecting her to forge ahead and do good things - not because Shannon would have done that, but because it's the right thing to do.  That's the cold, hard reality of day to day living.  Be the best you can be, and remember, nobody's perfect.  We've got written proof of that ...