Scratch That

I run my fingers over the calloused skin for what feels like the millionth time, denying her desire to scratch her skin to ribbons with her nails. There are about a dozen of these zones of rough skin covering small areas of Anne's skin — behind her knee and elbows, the outside of her ankle; the back of her neck. Her eyes are closed, but her hands take on a life of their own, alternating quickly between the zones, hoping to find a lapse in my defense, endlessly thirsting for the temporary relief of carving new scars on her skin.
I open up the almost-empty jar of calendula cream and apply another coat.
This is one of those nights I keep vigil over Anne's eczema in the hope that God grants me enough patience to provide my daughter sufficient passage to a good night's sleep.

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