Saturday, May 06, 2006

Bug Bites

I was bit by my first mosquito of the season yesterday. As I sat and scratched it, worrying whether I had just contracted West Nile virus or Malaria, I thought of Bug. He had the fairest lily white skin of all my children. The skin on his legs was rough, and constantly dry. The skin on his fore arms was dry as well. And his fingers sported great big thick callosuses from being in his mouth all the time. But everywhere else his skin was soft and smooth.

Every year, he was skeeter bait. My poor boy couldn't fight the bugs off himself, and we had a terrible time with lotion. So, inevitably, he came away from his foray outdoors with more than his share of bug bites. And a mosquito bite on Shalebug would last for weeks. His beautiful skin just had a terrible time clearing up after being vandalised by those bastards.

As I scratch and whine about the itching, I know that Bug won't be bit again. Never again. And part of me is soooooo sad about that, but part of me is more like "Ha! Take that you stupid skeeters! I finally found a repellent that works! Au du Death!" Perhaps I need to up my therapy time...

But I think back to that night, how it was like any other night, how up until the very end, I never, not once, thought my son was dying. That my time with him was finite and running out quickly. Like a car accident that you don't see coming. And then WHAM! it hits. And everything changes. I am grappling with how mortal we are. I never gave it much thought before. I knew we died, have seen people die, have been to their funerals. I understood what it means to miss someone and never be able to talk to them again. I just never put it in respect with myself or that of my family.

As I watch Fric and Frac bounce on the trampoline and strap on their bike helmets, I wonder now, is this the last thing they will do? Will there be a tomorrow for any of us? And I resent these thoughts. But at the same time, they are golden, for they make me take the time to stop and enjoy the moment; to really live. I thought I was doing that before, and maybe I was, but now I am extremely aware of my minutes on Earth. And my family's time with me. Because you never know when Death is knocking on your door.

So, I will sit and scratch my skeeter bites. And try to enjoy doing it. But I am still going to buy some super strong repellent.