Bug Bites

Merriam-Webster defines wisdom as “the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand.”  The idea of wisdom has been on my mind a great deal recently both personally and professionally.  Today, it would be at the forefront.

The day began with an ideal and carefree morning.  It seemed a perfect blend of sunlight and promise.  My four-year-old niece was coming over for the day to play.  My grandmother, lucky enough to have four great grandchildren and another on the way, was joining us for some laughter and fun.  

Gram, as I call her, and I talked a great deal about life and love while the kids relished in play and imagination.  We danced, giggled, and enjoyed time together as a family.  I could not help but marvel at the contrast between the wisdom and innocence that spanned four generations.  

A few hours into our fun, I noticed three raised bumps on Kelsey’s leg, just above her knee.  This was suspicious to me, as her troubles tend to be on those limbs.  Kelsey realized that I was gazing for too long.

I hoped that the nodules were simply bug bites.  Though, the longer I stared, the more I knew they were not.  To throw off the scent of worry, I referred to them as such.  I did not want to concern Kelsey nor make my niece alarmed.  I did take a picture of her “bug bites” and shared them with Kelsey’s caring doctor.  While the children’s senses could be tamed, mine were on high alert.

Those raised nodules derailed the otherwise beautiful day.  Those pesky raised red marks have only represented trouble in the past, and I felt wise on a subject I wished I had difficulty comprehending.  I held my breath and sat in that waiting place again.  I feel like I have been holding my breathe there all summer.

As always, Kelsey’s incredible doctor saw the pictures and promptly responded with concern.  She has a few new ideas for Kelsey’s treatment.  Too many recent “bumps” have raised doubt in her medications and their effectiveness.  Our doctor wants to discuss her ideas with the National Institute of Health and together, they will determine the best course of action.   

Life was good today.  I still want it to be.  

I worried a bit longer and hoped for a quick disappearing act to occur.  I had to look at that leg one more time.  

As I attempted to privately analyze Kelsey’s legs, I heard tiny footsteps approach the door and walk in.  It was my niece.  She is very inquisitive and clearly noticed that I had been monitoring Kelsey’s “bug bites” all afternoon.  Curiosity got the best of her.

She was wise to ask Kelsey, instead of me, about spots.   She inquired so innocently, “Hey Kels, what is wrong with your bug bites?”

Kelsey smiled at her in a way that showed thoughtfulness and poise.  She responded, “The best way I can explain it to you is…well, it is just that my bug bites are venomous.”

I had to hand it to Kelsey.  Perhaps there was far more wisdom in the room than I first gave credit.  Wise beyond her years at five, I secretly shed both a proud and concerned parent tear.  Merriam-Webster defines venomous as “producing venom in a specialized gland and capable of inflicting injury.”  Venomous, indeed.

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