Friday, September 4, 2009

Feel the Burn

Today we got a visit from my niece Kenna and her beautiful daughter Ellie. Jackson and Jebb took little E out into the back yard pick some strawberries. I thought it would be a sweet cousin bonding thingy. I was actually going to get my camera to get a picture of them all together, when Jackson ran into the house screaming like his hair was on fire! As he got closer it became clear that he thought he was on fire, but not his hair, his mouth and lips. Jackson had picked a pepper from the little plant in my SFGarden and bitten into it with gusto.

I felt a mixture of feelings. I felt guilty because just the day before I had encouraged both Jackson and Jebb to try the peppers. They didn't want to...until today. I felt confused because I knew by the tag that the peppers were sweet and shouldn't burn. I even started to feel irritated that Jackson was overreacting in such a dramatic and eardrum splitting manner.

So I got a glass of milk. I talked in soothing tones. I hugged. I comforted. I prayed in my heart for patience.

As he cried, he looked at me and wondered through his tears if I was going to say a prayer for him and why I hadn't yet. We knelt down in the kitchen and while he sipped the milk and cried aloud, I offered a prayer asking for this to pass. I was touched that he wanted me to pray. But I have to admit I was lacking a lot of faith in my prayer because I was still perplexed. He cried. And cried. And cried. I got him a piece of gum to chew. I washed his hands. I washed his lips and tongue. He kept crying insisting it still burned.

I was just about to use my firm voice and tell him to pull it together when Kenna walked in with a pepper from my sweet pepper plant. She calmly told me over Jackson's crying to try the pepper. She warned me to take a very small taste. So I bit down ever so gingerly on the smallest tippity tip of the pepper.

YEEOWWWWW! It burned!!! My lips and my tongue were instantly alight with the burn of a hot, hot pepper.

I immediately had a new series of feelings wash over me. I felt guilty again because I had thought Jacks was overreacting. I felt pain as my lips kept burning. I felt a wave of compassion and patience for my sweet baby boy. I felt relieved I hadn't used my bugged tone yet. We washed his face again and I got another cup of milk. After I had a sip, I took a cotton ball and swabbed his lips over and over while he chewed some gum. This eventually did the trick. He told me that he was trying to be brave because I wasn't crying when I bit the pepper. We said a little prayer of thanks that he was all right.

Here is the pepper plant growing said peppers.
As you can see, it is not labeled HOT in any way. 'Very light melon flavor' in fact.

So what the heck? I am not into jalapeno or anything like unto it. and I now know neither is Jackson. So I didn't get any pictures of Kenna or Ellie and I am sad most of our visit was during Jackson's big burn. I do hope they will come again!

The other kids went and picked off the peppers from my plant and Jackson let me take a picture of him. I sure do love that kid. I am glad he had the faith to ask me to pray.

1 comment:

meegz said...

Kenna is always a voice of empathy for me too. I get so frustrated, then she points out the childs point of view. I always think "dangit, I'm wrong again!!"

Glad they visited -- and glad the hot peppers passed quickly!