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Can I have asthma, too?

Submitted by on Tuesday, 26 January 2010 No Comment

Mommy, when do I get to have asthma, Boots asked recently.

Maybe never if you’re lucky, I said. I can’t promise that, though. Mawmaw didn’t have asthma until she was in her 50s, so you never know.

What about food allergies? Do I get to have those?

Honey, no one wants to have asthma or allergies, I replied. With allergies in particular sometimes you don’t get to do the things that other people do.

Like what, he challenged.

You like eating cake at birthday parties at school, don’t  you? Big Guy can’t do that.

I suppose the questions are inevitable. Anyone with a couple of kids learns quickly that if you break out the Band-Aids, you better bring two because the uninjured party will quickly find an owwie that needs dressed.

With Big Guy, though, the issues are more serious than a skinned knee. They require daily care, frequent monitoring and constant menu adjustments. Boots doesn’t get that.

He was actually thrilled when he was a bit over 2 and came down with bronchitis. Finally, he would get to have the same inhaler that his brother does. He begged for it for weeks after he no longer needed it. “I still cough,” he’d say. “See?” (Cue dramatic fake hacking).

Boots views the “extra” attention as extra love and sometimes chafes at it. Such was the case one night recently when he complained because I was putting sauce on the pizza.

“You make everything yummy for brother but not for me. Why, why, why?” he complained.

When I change things for Big Guy, it’s because he couldn’t eat it unless I didn’t, I said. You want changes because you won’t eat something, not because you can’t. And it’s something you had no problem eating until a few months ago, I muttered in my brain.

The answers never quite satisfy him. One day, he’ll understand, though.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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