Not Just a Lump Of Coal

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my lovely baby girl Ellie-Jane. For some reason I’m not so public about her as I am about myself. I guess I’m respecting her right to eventually choose how public she wants to be with her life.

She’s been on my mind over the past couple of days, which got me thinking about children in general. You see, on Sunday she got a mosquito bite right under her cute little eye. Mom put some cortisone on it like any good mom would do and we put her to bed as we normally do.

Ellie-Jane Soar Eye 2009-06-09 003 On Monday morning my wife wakes me up with news that the baby’s poor little eye is swollen. I stumble into the baby’s room and sure enough her little eye was swollen. A couple hours later at the doctors office he tells me it isn’t infected. He said it might swell enough to close her eye, but not to worry that it will get better. He said she just had a reaction to the bite.

Update – 8/10/2009: Looking at my blog statistics I notice a lot of people get referred here from Google by searching for “mosquito bite under eye” or something similar since their child has the same problem. I researched a little and found that the reason mosquito bites tend to swell really bad for children is that their immune system has not had enough incidents of being bitten to defend against the saliva that mosquitoes ingest during their feeding (biting). Unfortunately, some people continue to have allergic reactions even after their immune system is exposed to sufficient bites. Here is a link to better information on the allergic reaction –

Not to worry. For me, I do a decent job of not worrying, but you can’t look at her eye and not feel bad for her. You just look at her and have this empty, sad feeling because you hate that she has this irritation to deal with – that she might be in pain.

But like she’s done since she was born, she amazes me with her resilience. She doesn’t complain about her eye. She listens to me when I ask her not to rub it. She listens to me when I ask her to sleep on her other side so it won’t swell even more. She just has this wonderful, loving spirit in the face of a crappy mosquito bite that’s made her look like Rocky Balboa.

With all of this going through my mind I started thinking about how this baby has changed my life and my perception of life. Like any proud dad when she was born and I first looked into her eyes I knew I loved her. I knew that I would love her forever and would do anything I could to fill her life with love and happiness. Unlike moms who carry and nurture a baby in the womb I think men have a space of separation from their new born children. For a woman a child is A PART OF THEM. You see, besides having an emotional attachment during the pregnancy, a mom shares her flesh and her blood with her child. She tolerates her body going through a total change to give her unborn child a hospitable, nurturing home for nine months.

But back to the current story. For me, the past couple of days has shown me that although I’ve loved my baby from the first moment I realized I would be a dad, I realized that everyday since she was born I’ve been falling more and more in love with her.

Each day she has taught me something about life and about myself. Each day she amazes me with something new. Her little phases like “Dadda do that no, no, no” or “dadda so funny” just bring a smile to me and my wife.

Ellie-Jane and Mommie Playing 2009-06-07 004Always searching for an appropriate analogy, I’ve been thinking that maybe children are like a lump of coal. You see, a piece of coal under pressure eventually turns into a diamond. And if you do a good job of raising your child they too can turn into a bright, glimmering diamond.

But after further contemplation I think I’m wrong.

You see, all children at birth are already diamonds. They sparkle and amaze, they bring brilliance and joy to our lives. They grow from helpless lumps of flesh and bones into beings of great minds and souls. They teach us about life and they teach us who we really are.

If anything, WE are the lumps of coal. They apply pressure and they demand from us life’s lessons and in return we learn to shine so that they may shine even brighter!



Filed under All Posts, Family, Health & Wellness, Humanity

11 responses to “Not Just a Lump Of Coal

  1. ginny

    she is precious! truly precious. what sweet words to express your love for e-j. thank you for sharing how blessed you feel for having her and also for a couple of pics!

  2. Trent

    Hmm – Changed your perception .. You think you will be driving her to all the places she will want to go .. or will ya make her walk? 😉

    • When I grew up both of my parents worked and us four kids were taking care of each other after school. We didn’t have the luxury of our parents driving us everywhere. But then again, I don’t think my parents had to worry about the crazy predators out there today.

      When our little baby is old enough to be doing things that require her to go places, we will balance the activities and deal with the demands as the come along. But I will tell you that I’m not a cab driver and today parents do more of that than they should.

  3. twyla

    just wanted to say thanks! I am one of those worried parents that were referred to your blog while searching info on mosquito bites- the link is great…thanks again:)

    • Worrying is part of the job I guess… But, like my dad always told me growing up “you aren’t the first kid to get a bruise.” Dad’s, always the tough-softies!

  4. hanna

    hello, thank you for the post. I search insect bites and got your page. My baby had the same bite (at the same place) as your daughter. May I ask how long it took for her eye to be normal again? My heart breaks each time I see her like that 😦

  5. hanna

    thank you for your quick reply. just one more question if you don’t mind. She did not need special medication, didn’t she?
    I’m wondering if I should bring my daughter to hospital tomorrow….
    thank you again!!! sorry if I’ve annoyed you with questions so far…

  6. Hanna,
    We took our daughter to the Doctor when she had this happen to her and he told us not to worry, that it would go down. The first day is the worst.

  7. sonia

    You are right, I did a search and here is where it brought me! My 20 month old twins had a fight with some mosquitos and the mosquitos apparently won. One of my girls is actually worse than the other with the eye swelling (both eyes were bitten) some good size bites on her cheeks and ears. I gave her some Benadryl and like you dabbed on some Cortisone. I thought it might be an allergy until I read your immune system explanation per your research. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for the read!

  8. Heh, thank you very much for this– especially for the picture.

    Our toddler managed to flip a chair yesterday (big sister’s backpack was on it, helped and cushioned the fall, but LOUD) and about an hour after we’d made sure everything was fine I noticed his eye was swelling up.

    Fake curses (of monday-friday course, dirty son of a booger!) and much “oh of COURSE he’s going to have a black eye when he becomes a big brother and sees his grandparents for the first time in half a year,” move on.

    …twelve hours later, it’s not looking like a bruise and it’s looking even more swollen, and I was getting quite worried.

    He matches your little cutie up there, but on the opposite side. Thank you for putting my heart at ease.

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