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How My Niece Showed Me Compassion

My niece stayed home from school today. As if living with Crohn’s disease and eczema weren’t enough, now there’s a bug going around the house. For the last few days, each of us has been going to the bathroom, had an upset stomach, occasional fever, you name it. The list goes on.

Our sick baby

Well, yesterday was my niece’s turn. I feel so bad because she’s only two years old. The poor girl stopped eating. Hardly had anything to drink. Wasn’t playing as she usually does, just acting odd. I didn’t understand what was going on with her until we checked her diaper. It was a disaster, to say the least! Poor baby! We’ve been trying to feed her soup and keep her hydrated, but overall she’s just not feeling it. I love her so much and I hate seeing her like this. Seeing something so small, feeling so unwell is just heartbreaking.

Her time of need

With everything going on in her tiny, fragile body, this is her time. Her time of need. Her time to be taken care of. Her time to be pampered. Not mine. Of course, because she’s small, her little friends are the same. There was absolutely no way she could attend daycare with a virus. If you know kids, you know this: things spread… and fast!

She stayed home with me today. She woke up early per usual so we decided to just lay in bed, watch a little TV, and enjoy each other’s company. She’s such a sweet sweet girl so it didn’t surprise me that even in her time of need, her sick day, here she was, lying in bed, rubbing her auntie. She was rubbing my hand, then, in an attempt to rub my arm, she noticed it.

Reactions to eczema

It’s almost insane to see the difference in how people respond: grown adults who have been taught better, but still, often do not choose kindness versus sweet, innocent children and babies. Those who know nothing. They haven’t yet been taught, and if so, not old enough to fully understand.

I never taught my niece how to treat people with different skin conditions. I never told her to give people hope instead of bringing people down. We’ve read books about kindness and love, but she’s so little, I haven’t taught her any true life lessons yet and still, her being the amazing girl she is, knew better.

Surprised by eczema rash

She still expressed shocked. It surprised her. She didn’t expect her auntie, her god-mommy, the one she looks to for the answers, to have problems of her own. As she felt the difference between my non-impacted skin, then returned to my eczema, she gasped. She felt over a few times to make sure she understood it correctly.

Then, in the smallest, cutest voice ever said, “Oh! Dazza booboo!”
Translation: “Oh, that’s a booboo.” (AKA something that causes pain)

Understanding eczema

She said it multiple times and I agreed, at only two I knew she wouldn’t fully comprehend what eczema is, but referring to it as a “booboo” helped her to understand and even empathize, as she too has experienced booboos (and little does she know, she has eczema too!).

After saying it a few times and receiving my confirmation, with all of the cuteness in her little body, she replied, “It’s otay, Auntie.” I almost teared up seeing how sweet and kindhearted my girl is. I couldn’t have been more proud.

It’s amazing that someone so small can be so caring. You can see her reaction below in the video. I hope this brightens your day a little! Living with atopic dermatitis or eczema is hard, but in the words of my baby, “It’s otay!”

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