When I first started this blog, it was an outlet to help me cope with the newness of my divorce and the many challenges that followed. One challenge included a surprise case of head lice. Fast forward 4 years and we’ve come a long way. However, my daughter’s head is apparently still a hot spot for critters. When my 13 year old daughter started itching her head a lot on vacation a few weeks ago, the first thing I did was check her head and neck for nits and bugs.
I saw nothing of concern. However, my vision is… horrible. She kept claiming her head was just oily, or dry, or this, or that . I checked her head again at least twice more, even used a lice comb. I almost went to get lice shampoo because I couldn’t understand what else it could be. She swore up and down that it had nothing to do with bugs. She said she had combed her head for them too. She’s 13 and takes care of herself way better these days, so I had no real reason not to believe her.
We got home from vacation, and two weeks later she was still itching. I took her to the doctor because I’m beyond confused at this point. And low and behold: he points out nits. Hello hair bugs 3.0. We were both horrified and confused all at the same time. How had I checked her multiple times and missed this?
We both knew what to do. I started mentally preparing myself for the long haul of weeks of combing. The doctor knew the enormity of this task as he surveyed her beautiful, thick mane of hair, and he quickly called in a double prescription of “the” shampoo.
I dropped her off at home and went to get the prescription. My son was instructed to stay in his own area, I fed him, and let him play on his tablet. He was fine. My daughter started stripping bedsheets and doing laundry as she prepared her mind for the long haul as well.
To my surprise, she didn’t want me to help comb her hair. I gave her some instructions about the shampoo, she asked a few questions, and went to work while I cleaned the house. There was an unspoken team effort. I checked my head and her brother’s head, and by some miracle from the God-Sent Sanity Fairy, we were good. I have checked our heads regularly every night since. I put sheets on all of the couches and assigned seats for the next few weeks. Everyone agreed, and we’ve been living in harmony for the past week.
All is stabilizing, but I’m still on edge.
I kept thinking “where did I go wrong? why did I let my guard down? I know better, I know better…” My past came back to haunt me, and it occurred to me that I was beating myself up for something that could happen to anyone. I was looking for someone (me or another) to blame to make sense of it all.
I wanted to cry, but all I could think was “this too shall pass.” Because it will. We’ve been through it before, we’ll get through it again. And this time I was let off the hook from combing, so I’m thankful for that. I’m so very proud of my girl.
After she got done combing out her hair that first night, she calmly came to me and said “How did you do that when I was little, mom? How did you comb my hair out for me for weeks the two different times that I had it?” And I simply shrugged and said “Who else was going to do it? I did it because it had to be done.” And she gave me air hugs from across the room.
I’ve been looking for the lesson in all of this. From challenges come great lessons. And I think this lesson was more for my daughter than for myself. I have learned, I have grown, I have tried to pass on my knowledge, but some things she must learn on her own no matter how many times I try to tell her or show her. That thought made me sad. I can only help her to a point. All I can do is be her support system.
This too shall pass.
Stifle Me Not